Moly in action

Molybdenum's unique properties make it an important enabler of many sustainable technologies through its use as an alloy and as a primary component. Some of the uses of molybdenum which yield the greatest sustainability benefits are shown below. 

Click on a thumbnail to find out more about the benefits shown and molybdenum's role in achieving them.

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  • Moly is essential for life

    Molybdenum is an essential trace element for plant growth and human and animal metabolism.

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    Molybdenum is essential for the growth of plants. Photo: iStock

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    Molybdenum is an essential trace element for plant growth and human and animal metabolism.

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    Molybdenum in Biology - An Essential Trace Element
    Plant Micronutrients
    Plants need Molybdenum

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  • Less Maintenance with Moly

    Molydenum-containing stainless steels are often used in corrosive and even benign environments where frequent maintenance or replacement is difficult, hazardous or costly.

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    The 2205 duplex stainless steel service water system, containing 3% molybdenum, reduces maintenance costs at the the Catawba Nuclear Power Station.

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    Molydenum-containing stainless steels are often used in corrosive and even benign environments where frequent maintenance or replacement is difficult, hazardous or costly.

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    MolyReview July 2010 issue page 8
    The Myllysilta Bridge, Finland
    Stainless rebar keeps traffic flowing

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  • Lower carbon emissions

    Heat resistant steels and nickel alloys containing molybdenum permit higher combustion temperatures of fossil fuels in power plants. This increases plant efficiency and reduces carbon emissions and operating costs.

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    This ultra-supercritical power station in Boxberg, Germany, operates at 600°C and 285 bar and uses steels with 0.85-1.1% molybdenum in the hot section.

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    Heat resistant steels and nickel alloys containing molybdenum permit higher combustion temperatures of fossil fuels in power plants. This increases plant efficiency and reduces carbon emissions and operating costs.

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    World Coal Association: Improving Efficiency Levels
    Supercritical and Ultra-supercritical Power Plants

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  • Stronger steels with Moly

    Molybdenum containing high strength steels are used to reduce weight in construction projects. Significant weight savings can be achieved, reducing raw materials use as well as the cost and energy required for transportation and fabrication.

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    Reduced wall thickness is made possible by the use of high strength molybdenum bearing steel (~0.2% Mo) in this arctic pipeline.

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    Molybdenum containing high strength steels are used to reduce weight in construction projects. Significant weight savings can be achieved, reducing raw materials use as well as the cost and energy required for transportation and fabrication.

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    Production and Development Update of X100 for Strain-Based Design Application
    High Strength Steel (HSS) tubes
    Friends Arena, Stockholm
    HSS - sustainable and money-saving

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  • Resource conservation

    Molybdenum-containing stainless steels are durable and long-lasting so they rarely have to be replaced. They are recycled at end of life, contributing to the conservation of natural resources and energy and reducing disposal to landfill.

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    It is estimated that stainless steel is made up of about 60% recycled content and nearly 80% of all stainless steel is recycled at its end-of-life. Photo: Nickel Institute

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    Molybdenum-containing stainless steels are durable and long-lasting so they rarely have to be replaced. They are recycled at end of life, contributing to the conservation of natural resources and energy and reducing disposal to landfill.

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    Stainless Steel's Sustainable Advantage
    Molybdenum scrap saves resources

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  • Less air pollution with Moly

    Moly catalysts are used in hydrodesulfurization of fuels, reducing sulfur emissions to the environment from vehicles.

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    Cobalt/molybdenum cataysts such as the pre-sulfided KF-757 pictured, are the key components of refinery operations. They are instrumental in the processing of ultra-low sulfur diesel. Photo: Albemarle Corporation

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    Moly catalysts are used in hydrodesulfurization of fuels, reducing sulfur emissions to the environment from vehicles.

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    Molybdenum Compounds in Catalysts
    Hydrodesulfurization Catalysts

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  • Energy savings with Moly

    Moly-containing stainless steel sunscreens are increasingly deployed to reduce the need for air-conditioning in buildings.

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    Guangzhou, China’s second Children’s Activity Center. Photo: Steffian Bradley Architects

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    Moly-containing stainless steel sunscreens are increasingly deployed to reduce the need for air-conditioning in buildings.

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    Solar Sunscreens
    Bioclimatic facades
    Federal Building, San Francisco
    MolyReview January 2012, page 1
    Fish scale façade

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  • Better fuel efficieny with Moly

    High strength steels containing molybdenum are used in cars and trucks to enable lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles.

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    Trucks increasingly use high strength steels to reduce dead weight and thereby improve fuel efficiency. Photo: Scania

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    High strength steels containing molybdenum are used in cars and trucks to enable lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles.

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    Structural steels
    Car Body and Chassis Construction
    Ford Fusion B-Pillar

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  • Stainless steel lasts longer

    Moly-containing stainless steel is the ideal choice for buildings and structures designed to last for forty or more years in corrosive locations.

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    The Type 316 stainess steel clad Mapfre Office Tower is separated from the Mediteranean Sea by a park and marina. Despite the corrosive location, the apperance of the stainless steel is unchanged. Photo: Acerinox

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    Moly-containing stainless steel is the ideal choice for buildings and structures designed to last for forty or more years in corrosive locations.

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    Stainless Steel in Architecture - Applications
    The Myllysilta Bridge, Finland

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  • Environmental protection

    Corrosion resistant molybdenum containing stainless steels and nickel-based alloys play a critical role in flue gas desulfurization, helping to protect the environment from acid rain.

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    Many flue gas desulfurization (FGD) scrubbers are built entirely from moly-containing stainless steels and nickel base alloys due to the corrosive nature of the process. Photo: John Grocki of Advantage Resources Consulting

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    Corrosion resistant molybdenum containing stainless steels and nickel-based alloys play a critical role in flue gas desulfurization, helping to protect the environment from acid rain.

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    Applications of molybdenum in environmental and human health protection

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