インジウムの循環解析と資源性の考察 [in Japanese] Material Flow Analysis and Resources Problem of Indium [in Japanese]
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The analyses on the resource and recycling problems of indium elements have been conducted. The electronic industry uses 80% of the total indium production in the world as ITO (indium tin oxide) for flat display panels. The refinery and application processes, material flow, present status of the resources, and recycling have been analyzed based on the data in 2003. The production shift and other items from 2003 to 2025 were estimated through 3 scenarios. The resources will be exhausted by 2010 if the current resource estimation is correct and production rate continues. The exhaustion will occur around 2025 or before even if recycling and technology advance, by which the amount of In used in flat panel displays can be reduced are developed. The toxicity of indium is uncertain as of now , but the mass flow in Japan is not very high, so the effect on pollution in Japanese society is expected to be very low. The price of indium is plotted on the line of the prices as a function of the separative work units of Fe, Cu, Zn, Ag, Au. This means that the price is reasonable although there is little resource and the usage is limited in flat display panels. The production, price and exhaustion will be strongly affected by zinc refinery, alternative technologies in the electronic industry and recycling technologies and systems.
Shigen-to-Sozai 123(3), 123-129, 2007-03-25
The Mining and Materials Processing Institute of Japan