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Production of Iodine and its Industrial Applications

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Top formulators, manufacturers, distributors and the best iodine suppliers encourage the use of iodine as well as provide useful and accurate information regarding its numerous benefits and applications.  Some are tasked with production of not only iodine but also its derivatives and also explain where it comes from and how and where it is used. Here’s what you need to know about iodine.

Production of Iodine and its Industrial Applications - Attachetrading

How Iodine Occurs in Nature

About 99% of the earth’s mass contain about 32 chemical elements while the remaining 1% is divided among 64 other elements. Among those elements iodine is number 61 meaning it is among the least abundant elements. Even though it is not very abundant in terms of quantity, iodine is distributed in essentially every corner of the world. This means the best iodine suppliers have an easy time sourcing for the raw material anywhere in the world especially from places like Turkmenistan.

Seawater is regarded as the largest reserve of iodine as it is said to contain over 30 million tons. Iodine is also present in plants, soils, rocks and animal tissues. However, it is not possible to employ direct extraction as it doesn’t make any economic sense because of low concentration.

Largest Producers of Iodine

Iodine mostly occurs in higher concentration in mineral deposits which are found in underground brines and also in caliche ore. The above sources are where iodine is mostly extracted for production. Recently there has been an increase in global demand of iodine which is said to exceed 30 thousand metric tons annually. A considerable amount of iodine production comes from brines in USA, Japan, Indonesia, Chile, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan.

Iodine production in Chile is mainly extracted from caliche ore in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile and also available on the west of Andes mountains. In the recent commercial production of iodine is outsourced in the USA and comes from northern brines of Oklahoma. Iodine in Japan is mostly extracted from gas wells. Oil extraction is not available in Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan, but some wells have been dug specifically for iodine production. Iodine in Indonesia is mainly for domestic consumption and comes from Mojokerto in East Java.

The Main Types of Iodine Derivatives

Iodine is usually delivered by producers in the form of solid, prilled, and elemental iodine. It is then used to make several organic and inorganic derivatives.

Inorganic Derivatives

Iodine is usually incorporated into the human food chain in the form of inorganic compounds such as iodate of potassium or iodide, sodium and calcium. Different compounds have different ionic structures. While some have ionic structures such as potassium iodide, others have covalent structures e.g. titanium iodide which are produced using the reducing method of iodine. Iodate are usually stable at room temperature but unstable when heated which makes them lose oxygen. As a result, Iodate are produced using strong oxidation process of iodine to arrive at iodic acid. The next process is neutralization, which can be done using either an oxide, hydroxide or through electrolytic oxidation using an iodide solution.

Organic Derivatives

Organic iodine contains a wide range of either aromatic or aliphatic derivatives. The derivatives are made through organic chemistry using compounds such as methyl or ethyl iodide as well as hydriodic acid and is mainly for pharmaceutical and commercial purposes. For instance, ethylenediamine hydroiodide commonly known as EDDI can be used as an additive in pet food. It can also be used as cattle feed thanks to its high bioavailability.

The Main Uses of Iodine

1.About 3% of the world’s iodine production is utilized for human consumption

2.Nearly 9% is used as animal feed additive

3.Due its nature iodine is used in nutritional products

4.A wide range of iodine and its derivatives are used in the manufacture of many agricultural, medical and industrial products.

5.About 23% of iodine production goes to the manufacture of X-ray contrast media due to its high atomic number and density.

6.Iodine is also used in the manufacture of polarizing film that is found in liquid crystal display (LCD). During the process iodine is used in the form of poly iodide.

7.Another use of iodine is in the manufacturing of iodine tablets, which are usually taken when there has been a nuclear accident to help protect the thyroid against exposure to radioactive material.

The Future of Iodine Production

With increased global demand, there are fears that we might run out of supply. However, if the current demand is maintained or increased slightly, we will not run out of supply for the next two or more centuries. There have been tremendous efforts aimed at improving production efficiency and recycling efforts. Turkmenistan now plays a considerable role in terms of production and recycling initiative since it is a major player when it comes to iodine industry in the world.

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