Osmium belongs to platinum group family and is obtained when platinum metal is extracted from its ores. Osmium is found in nature alloyed with iridium and as a trace component of many ores such as copper and nickel. Hence, osmium is mainly produced as a byproduct of platinum extraction. It is one of the densest elements found in nature and is blue grey in colour. Osmium is represented by the symbol Os and its atomic number is 76. The metal is hard and brittle, which remains lustrous even at very high temperature. Osmium is generally produced in the form of powder since it is difficult to shape owing to its hardness. The amount of osmium produced per year is trivial, which is less than a ton.
Osmium exhibits low compressibility and has high bulk modulus. Osmium is toxic in nature when it is exposed to air and undergo chemical reaction to form osmium tetroxide. Osmium is highly volatile as well as water soluble in nature and the metal has very low vapour pressure and exhibits high melting point. There are numerous regulations on the use of osmium owing to the aforementioned properties it possess.
Osmium is used in many alloys, which find significant applications in end use industries due to the quality osmium can impose on end products such as corrosion resistance and hardness. For instance, osmium alloys are used to manufacture pen nibs, compass needles, and electrical contacts, among others. Osmium-tungsten was used in filaments of light bulb as well.
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Apart from these osmium can be used as a catalyst at industrial levels that increments the market value of osmium considerably. Osmium tetroxide is popularly utilized in chemical industry since it is strongly oxidising and volatile. However, proper precautions need to be taken while using osmium tetroxide in laboratories. The reflectivity of osmium makes it desirable in space based UV spectrophotometer applications as well. The alloys of osmium are used in manufacturing several surgical implants and instruments, due to its inert nature.
Osmium Market: Market Dynamics
The sustainable development in the global chemical industry is expected to boost the demand for osmium over the forecast period. Growing applications of osmium in fingerprint detection, optical and electron microscopy and also in staining fatty tissues in various research institutes are the drivers, which can bolster the market growth in the upcoming years. The growing trend of using osmium for innovative medical technologies is expected to boost the overall demand for the osmium market.Furthermore, stagnant price of osmium makes it more popular in end use industries. However, the toxic nature of osmium necessitates optimum storage facilities, which may act as a low impact restraint for the market growth.
Osmium Market: Market Segmentation
Osmium market is segmented on the basis of form, application and grade mainly.
On the basis of form, the global osmium market can be segmented into;
On the basis of grade, the global osmium market can be segmented into;
- Technical Grade
- Analytical Grade
On the basis of application, the global osmium market can be segmented into;
- Electrical Contacts
- Instrumental Pivots
- Fountain Pen Nibs
- Others (clock bearings, compass needles, gramophone, etc.)
Osmium Market: Regional Outlook
The increasing preference for sustainable technology augments the production of osmium significantly. The global osmium market is projected to grow with a substantial CAGR over the forecast period. In terms of consumption, North America is expected to be the prominent market for osmium, followed by Europe. Moreover, Asia Pacific is expected to be a substantial producer of osmium. China, being the major exporter of osmium, contributes significantly to the global market share.
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Osmium Market: Market Participants
Examples of some of the market participants in the global osmium market, identified across the value chain include, American Elements, Ceimig Limited, Cleantech and Reade International Corp, among others.