Is it possible to reduce molybdenum oxide without the environmental impact of a smelting process, high energy use and dependence on expensive alloys and metals? We think so.
An alternative reduction method
When we acquired AB Ferrolegeringar in 2014, we also acquired some of their patents. They describe an alternative method to reduce molybdenum oxide. Today’s technology involves both considerable environmental impact and expensive costs, as they require a smelting process, high energy use and depend on expensive alloys and metals, such as ferro-silicon and aluminum.
In the new patented technology the reduction takes place in solid phase. This means we can save a lot of energy, by staying at significantly lower temperatures. Since 2020 we have conducted experiments on a small scale in a furnace we built in collaboration with one of our partners here in Mälardalen.
We place the molybdenum oxide in a bed with the reducing agent carbon and heat it in a protective atmosphere until it has reduced completely. The attempts have been very successful, and we are now working on reducing residual carbon levels in the product and optimizing the atmosphere.