Battery demand driving growth
Cobalt is critical for manufacturing high performance rechargeable batteries that are used in portable electronics, electric vehicles and stationary power storage applications. In the mid 1990’s, only 1% of cobalt demand was from its use in rechargeable batteries for electronics. However, the growing importance of lithium-ion and nickel metal hydride batteries in smartphones and other electronic devices contributed to the demand for cobalt in rechargeable batteries surpassing its use in superalloys sector for the first time in 2007. Rechargeable batteries have since been the largest end use of cobalt, accounting for 49% of cobalt demand in 2015.
Battery sector cobalt demand grew by 12% in 2015 and double digit growth is anticipated for the foreseeable future as major economies continue to diversify from carbon-based energy systems and vehicle electrification advances.
How a lithium-ion battery works: Click for Video
Cobalt sulphate is preferred by many battery manufacturers and usually receives a premium price to high grade cobalt metal.
Cobalt & Rechargeable Batteries
include superalloys for the aerospace industry to make power and jet engine turbines, cutting tools and cemented carbides used to machine steel, and electromechanical
devices such as magnets, electric motors, generators, transformers and magnetic storage tape and hard disks.
include sulphates for manufacturing rechargeable batteries, catalysts for
petroleum refining and to manufacture plastics, and as pigments.
Clean air uses
include oil desulfurization, fuel cells, hybrid vehicles, gas/coal to liquid
include solar power, wind turbines, geothermal power plants, gas
turbines, conversion of biomass to hydrogen and hydrogen storage.
include it as a key component of Vitamin B12 which is essential for human health
and necessary for neurological function, brain function and the formation of blood. Cobalt is also
used in prosthetics, cancer treatments and food preservation.