Tuesday, August 9, 2011
The importance of silver in industry
An example is Ethylene Oxide (EO). In this area silver is a catalyst, the only catalyst in fact that can be used to manufacture ethylene oxide.
EO is a critical element in the production of such products as detergents, thickeners, solvents and ethylene glycol, used in antifreeze, paints, polyester, inks, other plastics, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, the list goes on.
With no silver, ethylene oxide could not be produced and the above products could not be manufactured. However it is not the silver that acts as a catalyst. Ethylene is a plant hormone and it is the silver oxide that is used to oxidise the ethylene.
So if there was a real shortage of silver in the market place this would impact the production of ethylene oxide and subsequently the production of many of the products we take for granted.
This is quite apart from the uses of silver in such areas as electronics, health, general manufacturing and photography.
The amount of silver used by EO plants, which have also increased over the past 40 years from around 70 to over 100, has increased from 200,000 ounces to around 250,000 ounces in the 1970s and over two million ounces per planet today.
So the usage and importance of silver in industry today cannot be underestimated.
A shortage of silver, which is quite possible in view of the shortage of silver being mined, partially due to the cost of mining but, importantly due also to the price of silver being manipulated by two main institutions shorting over 80 percent of the silver market, means that inevitably the price of silver is going to rise as more and more EO plants seek out and are prepared to pay more for silver.
The importance of silver in industry therefore is just another indicator of the opportunity for investment in solid silver and the potential gains that can be obtained by the smart invest who buys silver.