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Chemical and Process Engineering Resources

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Category: Reactions and Processes
Question: How is molybdenum produced?
Keywords: v1i14,molybdenum,moly,production
Answer: Molydbenum is used in catalysts, lubricants, and many different types of specialty alloys. Most of the world's supply of molybdenum (moly) is produced as a by-product or co-product from copper mining. Only about 25% of moly comes from mines dedicated to its production. The mineral from which it is extracted is called molybdenite (MoS2). Once molybdenite is isolated from other ores using flotation cells, the MoS2 concentration is near 90%. The concentrate is then roasted to form molybdic oxide. Moly is added to steel in the form of this oxide compound. The molybdic oxide can be further reduced to moly powder by hydrogen in a two stage furnace operation. The first stage (utilizing rotary or boat-and-tube type furnaces) operates at around 600 ??C while the second stage (always boat-and-tube type furnaces) operates around 1200 ??C.