Tellurium is a rare, brittle metalloid bearing close resemblance to tin, and chemically related to selenium and sulfur. It is usually available as a dark grey powder and has the properties both of the metals and the non metals.
It is found in the form of elemental crystals in native form. Tellurium is most used for commercial purposes in alloys, and to improve machinability. It is also used in solar panels and as a semiconductor material.
Much of the tellurium produced is used for metallurgy; it is used in iron, copper and lead alloys. The element is mildly toxic and can cause poisoning, hence must be handled with care. Ingestion in even small amounts causes dreadful smelling breath and appalling body odour.
World production is around 220 tonnes per year.
The World Map of Tellurium Producers shows a list of the major countries that produce vast quantities of tellurium. As shown in the map, Japan leads the world in the production of tellurium. In 2010, the country produced over forty metric tonnes of the metalloid. Russia is the second-largest producer of tellurium with an annual production of 35 metric tonnes. Peru ranks third producing 30 metric tonnes followed by Canada with a production of 20 metric tonnes per year.
MAJOR TELLURIUM PRODUCERS OF THE WORLD-2010
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