Manganese is a little-known element yet it is the fourth most used metal in terms of tonnage, ranked behind iron, aluminum and copper.
Manganese has numerous applications which benefit our daily lives, whether it be through steel foundations, portable batteries, or even aluminum beverage cans.
In each case, manganese plays a vital role in improving the properties of the alloys and compounds involved in each specific application.
Manganese has played a key role in the development of various steel making processes and its continuing importance is indicated by the fact that about 90% of all manganese consumed annually goes into steel as an alloying element.
No satisfactory substitute for manganese in steel has been identified which combines its relatively low price with outstanding technical benefits. After steel, the second most important market for manganese (in dioxide form) is for portable dry cell batteries.
Other uses include manganese sulphates as an agricultural fertilizer, in water purification, health vitamins, gasoline additives and colouring glass.
Demand for manganese is projected to soar 40% in the next 10 years through China’s increasing urbanisation and continued industrialisation.