Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals and minerals 1977
Year 1977, Volume 1 (1977)
Alverson, Larry J.
Rhenium, pp. 777-783 ff. PDF (1015.1 KB)
Table l.—.Salient rhenium statistics (Pounds of contained rhenium) / 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 e~tjmata rRevj~ed 7,300 148 6,111 17,300 DOMESTIC PRODUCTION 777Rhenium By Larry J. Alverson1 There was no rhenium production in 1977 from domestic ore. Consumption decreased. about 12% from that of 1976 to 7,300 pounds; however, it was still at a relatively high level. Imports of ammonium perrhenate reached a record high of over 6,000 Mine productione consumptione________________________________ Imports(metalandscrap)________________________ !mports(ammoniumperrhenate)___________________ Stk8,D~.31e pounds, or 50% more than in the previous record year of 1976. Prices for both metal powder and compounds declined to the lowest level on record. Bimetallic catalysts continued to be the major use for rhenium domestically and worldwide. 7,000 5,000 2,000 r1,500 4,400 4,500 6,000 8,300 1,437 40 59 82 e3,040 e3,287 e966 4,047 20,000 24,000 21,000 ~18,&)0 There was no rhenium production from domestic sources in 1977; all output was on a toll conversion basis from foreign molybdenite (Mo52). This was the first year in over 20 years that no rhenium has been produced. Historically, the domestic rhenium industry has had four main producers: Shattuck Chemical Co., a subsidiary of Engeihard Minerals & Chemical Corp.; Kennecott Copper Corp.; M & R Refractory Metals, Inc.; and Molycorp, Inc. In the past few years, only Shattuck and M & R have been actively roasting domestic and foreign MoS2 concentrates for rhenium recovery. However, Cleveland Refractory Metals, a subsidiary of Kennecott Copper Corp., sold rhenium from accumulated stocks and imports to augment the domestic supply. CONSUMPTION AND USES Consumption of rhenium in 1977 decreased about 12% from the record level of 1976, but it was still at a high level compared with the past several years. An estimated 80% went into platinum-rhenium bimetallic catalyst manufacture for use in petroleum-refining operations. Semiregenerative bimetallic-reforming units in the petroleum industry increased 12% in capacity during the year, to 53.1% of total reforming capacity. This was the first time a single type of bimetallic reformer held over 50% of total reforming capacity. The total for all types of bimetallic reformers was 61.2% of total reforming capacity, the highest ever attained. This follows the trend of the past few years, brought about by the increasing demand for unleaded and
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