Arsenic in our Devices!?
Are our gadgets poisoning us with Arsenic? Probably!
Arsenic is known as a lethal poison, the kind that spies keep in their teeth to use upon capture. However, this little quiet member of the periodic table has been serving humanity more than we think. In fact, Arsenic is one of the integral elements in our technology, and without it, the world will probably stop turning.
What are the applications of Arsenic in technology?
Life as we know it cannot be imagined without semiconductors. These tiny components are the building blocks of all the electronic pieces we have at home. Smartphones, appliances, computers, tablets, and other gadgets have a microchip or semiconductor at their heart.
Can semiconductors be made without using Arsenic? Unfortunately, there is no viable alternative to Arsenic in the manufacture of semiconductors, and the chips just won’t work without it. The truth is that gallium arsenide used in semiconductors allows better high-frequency performance. Semiconductors have to work in high frequencies, and the arsenic component will enable them to do their job without any noise.
Light Emitting Diode or LED lights won’t work without Arsenic either. Today, most display technologies opt to use LED systems because of their high performance and low usage. The role of gallium arsenide in LED is to make P–N junctions more efficient; manufacturers use Arsenic in combination with other materials to create different colors in LEDs such as blue, red, and green.
One of the most popular types of laser is called aluminum gallium arsenide laser. This laser produces an infrared beam that has many different applications. The wavelength range of these lasers is between 0.63 and 0.9µm. Aluminum gallium arsenide laser is most commonly used in optical drives, that is, in CD and DVD players and writers.
Another critical application of aluminum gallium arsenide laser is in the medical section. Treating Osteoarthritis with laser therapy has gained much popularity in the last few years, and research shows that treating Osteoarthritis significantly reduced pain from 2 months to a year after treatment.
Which companies are the largest producers of Arsenic?
Furukawa is a multifaceted Japanese company acting in many sectors of industry. This company specializes in manufacturing telecommunication, energy, automotive, and electronic parts. In addition, Furukawa is also the largest manufacturer of specialty materials such as Arsenic.
Furukawa has 48,449 employees in Japan and its other locations all over the world. This company had revenue of 811.6 million Japanese Yen in 2021, equal to more than 7.28 million US dollars. The stock for Furukawa is currently traded for $11 per share, and this stock was $12.17 last year, which makes the current price its lowest in a year.
PPM Pure Metals (RX.PA)
PPM is located in Germany and is the manufacturer of higher purity minor metals. This company was founded 65 years ago and has become one of the major producers of metals in Europe. Some of the leading products of PPM are Arsenic, Cadmium, Copper, Gallium, Germanium, Indium, Lead, Tellurium, and Tin.
PPM operates in two industrial locations in Germany and has 117 employees at these locations. PPM Pure Metals is part of the PPM Pure Metals GmbH corporate group, which has 69 companies all in all. PPM had a net income of 113.9 million euros in 2020. The stock for PPM is traded for 1.85 EUR per share. This stock was 4.5 EUR last year this time which is also at its lowest point at the moment.
Shandong Humon Smelting (SHE)
Shandong is a Chinese company specializing in the extraction of gold, silver, and other minerals. This company also produces chemicals such as Arsenic and more. Moreover, its customers are primarily domestic.
Shandong reported having over 36.05 billion Chinese Yens of revenue in 2020, equal to 5.5 billion US dollars. The stock for Shandong is traded for 11.91 Yens equal to 1.84 US dollars. This stock was 16.42 Yens last year this time and has experienced a slight fall ever since.
Haichen is another Chinese company specializing in the research and development of 3D glasses. Another one of Haichen’s areas of expertise is the production of high purity metals used in manufacturing semiconductors. This company has the capacity to produce over 100 metric tons of 5N, 6N,7N, and 7N+ purity arsenic at the moment.
Haichen was founded in 2011 with an initial investment of 20 million Chinese yens. Since then, this company has received many prizes and standards in different areas. These prizes include ISO 9001:2008, ISO14001:2004, and OHSAA18001: 2007.
Donghai Dongfang High-purity Electronic Material
Donghai was founded in 2006 in Beijing, China, with an initial investment of 31 million yuan. This company specializes in producing high purity arsenic and gallium arsenide with a capacity of 20 tons per year. This kind of Arsenic is specially designed for the manufacture of semiconductors.
Indenta is an Indian company and the largest manufacturer of pharmaceutical and industrial materials. This company exports its products to more than 40 countries across the globe, and many Fortune 500 companies are among Indenta’s customers.
Indenta was founded in 1970 and is headquartered in Mumbai. This company’s main products include sodium hydroxide pellets, potassium hydroxide pellets, essential oils, lab reagents, fine chemicals, and strategic sourcing solutions.
How large is the market size for high purity arsenic?
The market size for high purity arsenic was 30.8 million US dollars in 2020. This market has been growing steadily with the growth of semiconductors, lasers, and LED lights. According to analysis, the market for Arsenic will rise to 38.1 million dollars by 2027. This market is mainly driven by the growth in electronic technologies.
What’s more, industries are trying to reassure consumers that the Arsenic used in their devices does not harm the manufacturing staff in any way. They are also trying to ensure the Arsenic will not leak into the environment after the devices are discarded. Finally, as the market for Arsenic grown, there is also an increasing need for arsenic recycling technologies to ensure the safety of the planet and its inhabitants.