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LCA studies

Molybdenum's contribution to sustainable development

Alloy steels

Molybdenum in Transportation
Benefits of molybdenum use: Ford Fusion B-Pillar
Lightweighting car components using molybdenum-containing advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) can achieve significant environmental savings. This life cycle assessment study, conducted by PE International in collaboration with IMOA, measured the impact of replacing the Ford Fusion’s B-pillar with a new lightweight design manufactured from AHSS. Global Warming Potential (GWP) was reduced by 29%, producing lifetime GWP savings of 165 kg CO2e per car, equivalent to the emissions from driving the vehicle over 1,000 km.


Molybdenum in Chemical/Petrochemical Processing
Benefits of molybdenum use: Hydrodesulfurization Catalysts
Concerns about sulfur dioxide emissions have led to very large reductions in the limits on sulfur in vehicle fuel. Hydrodesulfurization removes sulfur from diesel using molybdenum-based catalysts. This lifecycle analysis study compared the total environmental impacts of burning diesel fuel containing 2000 parts per million (ppm) of sulfur with today’s Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD), containing 10 ppm. The study found that sulfur dioxide emissions are now at least 100 times lower than 1993 levels, with a 24% reduction in acidification potential and a 44% reduction in the impact of particulate matter, both associated with risks to health and the environment.

Stainless Steels

Architecture, Building & Construction
Benefits of molybdenum use: The Myllysilta Bridge, Finland
Duplex stainless steel provides exceptional resistance to pitting and crevice corrosion from chlorides, and is therefore ideally suited to areas exposed to coastal waters and deicing salts. This lifecycle analysis study compared the total environmental impacts of the use of duplex stainless steel containing 3.1% molybdenum to clad the Myllsilta bridge in Finland, compared with mild steel and zinc-epoxy paint. The study found a 62% reduction in global warming potential, a 67% reduction in eutrophication potential and a 38% reduction in non-renewable energy, over the estimated lifetime of the bridge. The selected option also reduced photochemical ozone creation potential by 99%, by dispensing with the need for anti-corrosion paint.