University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Ecology and Natural Resources Collection

Page View

Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals and minerals 1978-79
Year 1978-79, Volume 1 (1978-1979)

Alverson, Larry J.
Rhenium,   pp. 743-749 ff. PDF (941.1 KB)


Page 743

Rhenium 
By Larry J. Alverson1 
 In 1978, consumption of rhenium increased 71% over that of 1977, reaching
a record level of approximately 12,500 pounds. In 1979, consumption fell
to about 9,500 pounds as supply remained extremely tight Demand came primarily
from bimetallic catalyst manufacturers as the need for 
high octane low lead gasoline increased Imports of ammornum perrhenate reached
a record 11,192 pounds in 1978, an increase of 83% over the prior record
year of 1977, but declined significantly in 1979. Prices increased in 1978,
and reached $2,000 per pound by late 1979. 
Table 1 —Salient rhenium statistics 
(Pounds of contained rhenium) 
Estimate W Withheld to avoid disclosing company proprietary data ' Includes
850 pounds of perrhenic acid. 
DOMESTIC PRODUCTION 
 Rhenium was recovered from domestic ores by three companies in 1978 and
by one company in 1979. Most of the rhenium recovered in the United States
was tollrefined from Canadian molybdenite concen 
trate (MoS,) and returned to the owner for sale. Kennecott Corp. resumed
recovery of rhenium in late 1978 after being inactive since 1975 and was
the sole producer of rhenium from domestic ores in 1979. 
  743 
1975 
1976 
1977 
1978 
1979 
Mineproduction                                   
Consumptione                                    
Imports (metal)                                    
Imports (ammonium perrhenate)                       
2000 
6,000 
59 
e966 
1500 
8,300 
82 
4,047 
7,300 
148 
6,111 
W 
12,500 
449 
112,042 
W 
9,500 
927 
8,299 
Stocks Dec 31 
21000 
18300 
17300 
W 
W 
CONSUMPTION AND USES 
 Estimated consumption of rhenium in 1978 increased over 71%, compared with
that of 1977, reaching a record level of approximately 12,500 pounds. Consumption
dropped to about 9,500 pounds in 1979 as stocks became depleted and supply
could not keep pace with demand. The increase in demand over previous years
was due to strong demand for bimetallic petroleum reforming catalysts used
in producing unleaded and low-lead, high-octane gasoline. The petroleum industry
uses several types 
of catalytic reformers to produce highoctane, low-lead gasoline. Aggregate
capacity of semiregenerative bimetallic reformers increased nearly 13% from
1977 to 1979, to a record 58% of total reforming capacity. Capacity of cyclic
bimetallic reformers increased over 120% during the same period, and capacity
of all other types of reformers increased 55%. In 1972, semiregenerative
bimetallic reformers comprised only 28% of total reforming capacity, compared
with 45% for comparable monometallic reform- 


Go up to Top of Page