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SODAASH COMMODITYREPORT EER396 GEOLOGYOFEARTHRESOURCES PREPAREDBY:JOHNMAXWELL SEPTEMBER22,2011

Abstract Asanimportantpartofmanyfinishedproductsofmodernlifesodaashisakeyindustrialmineral.Soda ashhasbothnaturalandsyntheticmeansofproduction.TheSolvayProcessisthedominantsynthetic process.TheUnitedStatesisblessedwithlargenaturaldepositsofnaturalsodaashintheformoftrona ore.Themainusesforsodaashareintheproductionofglass,chemicals,soapanddetergent.Glass manufacturingismostcommonuseforsodaash.Fromflatglassforwindowsandautomobile windshieldstocontainerglassforfood,sodaandbeer,sodaashisachiefinputforallofthoseproducts. Theproductionofsodaashhasgenerallyincreasedforthepasttenyears.Thepercentofsodaashused inthedevelopworldhasslowedduetoastagnanteconomy.However,ChinaandIndiahaveprovideda strongdemandforsodaashastheireconomieshavenotslowedandarestillgrowingathighrates.Like anyindustrialmineral,growthistiedtoGDPdemand,butsincethemanufacturingofglassisakey componentinhigherlivingstandards(windowsinhomes,automobiles)ChinaandIndiaprovidealarge marketforthecontinuedgrowthintheuseofsodaash. 2

Introduction Sodaashorsodiumcarbonate,Na2CO3,analkalinematerial,hasbeenusedthroughouthistoryfor variousindustrialpurposes(Kostick,1995,p.99100).Whennecessarymaterialsbecomescarcehumans adapttofindalternativewaystoproducetheitem.DuringtheIndustrialRevolution,theFrenchneeded sodaashformanufacturingglassandtextiles.Franceneededareliablesupplyofsodaashasitwas becomingincreasinglydifficulttofind.Anincentiveof2400livreswasofferedbytheFrenchAcademyof Sciencestoderivesodaasheconomicallyfromseasalt.NicolasLeblancwasthemanwhodevelopeda processtocultivatesodaashfromasaltcakeandhydrochloricacid.Leblancneverreceivedhisprize, butheshoweditwaspossibletoextractprizedalkalisfromothersources(Kiefer,2002Jan.).Today,soda ashcanbeproducedthroughnaturalorsyntheticmeans.Asof2006,70%oftheworldssodaashis producedsyntheticallyandthemajorityproducedviatheSolvayProcesswhiletherestisproducedvia naturaldeposits(Santini,Fastert,Harris,2006,p.872).Bothnaturalandsyntheticallyproducedsodaash arekeyinputstoproducingmanyitemsthatarepartofeverydaylife. LocationandGeneralGeologyofNaturalSodaAsh Inigneousandmetamorphicgroundwaterenvironmentsthereisalackofchlorideandsulfate.Withthe absenceofthesematerials,thefluidissaturatedwithcarbonandsodium.Sodiumcarbonatewill emergefromtheweatheringofigneousrocks.Oneideatheorizedforthegeneralformationofsodium carbonateistheevaporationofwatersaturatedwithsodiumcarbonateinshallowwater.Naturalsoda ashoccursinsemiaridregionswheretherateofevaporationisgradualandisconcentratedintotrona ore.Sodaashoccursnaturallyintrona(sodiumsequicarbonate)depositswhichisamineralwhich containssodiumcarbonate.Monohydrate,Wegscheiderite,andSodiumBicarbonateareothersodium carbonatecontainingminerals.(Santini,Fastert,Harris,2006,p.860861)Someofthegeologic propertiesoftronaare:perfectcleavage,unevenfracture,2.53hardness,andsolubleinH20(Anthony, 3

Bideaux,Bladh,andNichols,2005).Althoughthesesodiumcarbonatesolutionsoccurnaturally, economicallyviabledepositsarerareduetothesolubilityandsoftnessoftheminerals.Trona concentrationsaregeologicallyyoungduetheseproperties(Santini,Fastert,Harris,2006,p.861).The largestsingledepositoftronaislocatedinWyoming,U.S.A.intheGreenRiverBasinwithknown reservesof47billionmetrictons(Kostick,2011,p.2).China,Botswana,Kenya,Turkey,andEthiopiaare othercountrieswithlargedepositsofnaturalsodaash(Kostick,2010,70.3).Brineswithsodium carbonateareanothermainnaturalformforsodaashproduction.Inadditiontothenaturaldeposits, thesyntheticproductionofsodaashisderivedfromvariousnaturalmaterialssuchassalt,limestone, coal(Santini,Fastert,Harris,2006,p.871). Consumption WhetherSodaashisproducednaturallyorsyntheticallytheusesarethesame.Sodaashhasbeenused forthousandsofyears.OneinterestingusewasbyAncientEgyptianswhousedmadeglassfromit (Kostick,1995,p.99).Historically,themostcommonusesareglassandsoap.Thesetwousescontinueto besignificant(Santini,Fastert,Harris,2006,p.873).In2010,theconsumptionpercentageofsodaashin theU.S.was:48%glassproduction,26%chemicalproduction,10%soapanddetergents,4% desulfurizationoffluegas,4%pulpandpaperand8%otheruses.Thereportedconsumptionofsodaash in2010intheU.S.was5,270metrictonsandhasbeenincreasingsincetheendoftherecessionof2008 (SeeChart1forU.S.consumption)(Kostick,2010,p.70.2). PrimaryUsesofSodaAsh:Glass,Chemicals,SoapandDetergents Thechiefinwhichsodaashisusedisglassmanufacturing.Flat,container,fiberandspecialtyglassare differenttypesofglassinwhichsodaashisconsumed(Santini,Fastert,Harris,2006,p.873874).51%of theglassproducedin2010withsodaashwascontainerglass.Containerglassisproducedforfood, beer,liquor,andotherconsumerproducts.Flatglassistheothermajorglassproductinwhichthekey 4

endproductsarevehicleglassandbuildingconstruction(Kostick,2010,p.70.2).Manychemicalsare createdindirectlywithsodaashbeingprimerawmaterial.Someexamplesofchemicalsthatusesoda asharebakingsoda,causticsoda,sodiumphosphates(Santini,Fastert,Harris,2006,p.874).Sodaash hasthreemainusesintheproductionofdetergents:Directadditiontoenhancethecleaningactionof thedetergent,feedstockbuilderofvariouscleaningsurfactants,andlaundrywatersoftener(Santini, Fastert,Harris,2006,p.874). ProductionandPriceHistoryofSodaAsh Sincethereisbothnaturalandsyntheticsodaash,therearetwodifferentproductionprocesses.The twomajorprocessesofnaturalsodaashareabrineprocessandaTronaoreprocess.Thebrineprocess consistsofdryingoutsodiumcarbonaterichwaterandcollectingtheresultingsolidproduct.The secondprocessconsistsofrockandpillarminestoproducetronaore,whichis90%puresodium carbonate,thatiscrushed,dissolved,filtered,anddriedtoeliminatethe10%tracematerialstoproduce >99%sodaash(Santini,Fastert,Harris,2006,p.870).(SeeChart2forTronaOreProcessingdiagram) About30%ofsodaashisproducednaturallywiththemajorityintheU.S.Therearenumerouswaysto producesodaashsynthetically(Santini,Fastert,Harris,2006,p.871).Thetwosyntheticprocesses createdinthe19thcenturytosolvethesupplyshortageofsodaashweretheLeblancProcessandthe SolvayProcess.Thesetwoprocesseswereinstrugglewitheachotherforsupremacy.TheSolvay Processbecamethestandardprocessbecauseitwaslesswastefulofinputsandcausedlesspolluting thantherivalLeblancProcess(Kiefer,2002Feb).ThemainrawmaterialsintheSolvayProcessaresalt, limestone,waterandcoaltofiretheovenstomakesteam(Santini,Fastert,Harris,2006,p.872).The basicprocessconsistsofcreatingammoniabrinethatisthenmixedwithCO2.ThereactionoftheCO2 andthesaltscreatessodiumbicarbonatewhichiseasilydecomposedintosodiumcarbonatebyheating (SeeChart3foraSolvayProcessdiagram)(Kiefer,2002Feb).Theproductionofsodaashworldwidein

2010was47,500,000metrictons.(SeeChart4forWorldSodaAshProduction)Sodaashisvaluedper metrictonbytheUSGS.Theguidelinevalueisanaverageoffreeonboardbulk(f.o.b.),densenatural sodaashfromGreenRiver,WYandSearlesValley,CA.Thedifferencebetweenvalueandpriceisthat theUSGSreportsthevalueofcombinedrevenueonlongtermcontractswithnovalueaddcosts includedinthevalue.Thevaluein2010was$128.39(PleaseSeeChart5forSodaAshValue)(Kostick, 2010,p.70.2). GrowthForecast Sincethepriceofsodaashisnotalwaysdirectlylinkedtothevalue,forecastingtherateofproductionis amoredirectprocess.Therateofgrowthinthesodaashindustryismainlydependentonitsprimary product:glass.Duetotherecession,thedevelopedworldislikelytoexperienceflatgrowthinglass demand.However,developingcountriesoftheworldleadtwopowerfultrendsofgrowthinglass manufacturing:buildingconstructionandautomobilesmanufacturing.From20102020,therewillbe growthof26%intotalcommercialandresidentialfloorspace(PikeResearch,2011).From2004to 2010,therewasa150%increaseinautomobilespercapitainChinawithalikelihoodofanother doublinginthenextyenyears(Heymann,E.,2010)Demandforflatglasswindowforbuildingsand automobilewindshieldswillmirrorthedemandtrendsforthefinishedproducts.Inthedeveloped world,thereisonemainfactornegativelyaffectingsodaashdemandenvironmentalconcerns.There hasbeeneffortputintoincreasingglassrecyclingaswellasadoptionofplasticcontainersforfoodand beverage(Santini,Fastert,Harris,2006,p.873).Bothofthoseconcernsreducetheneedforproduced glass.InChart4theaverageproductiongrowthforprerecessiontimeperiodwas4%,withlowand negativegrowthexperiencedduringtherecession.However,2010shows7%growth.Thisistheeffect oftheGDPgrowthinthedevelopingworldespeciallyChina,whereGDPgrowthwillbe9.5%in2011and 2012(IMF,2011,p.72).Although7%maybeanoutlier,aregressiontoaprerecession4%growthrate

isafairlylikelyestimateforsodaashproduction.Thisisduetothedemandinthedevelopingworld, whichwilllikelybeastrongerforcethantheenvironmentalconcernsandthelingeringrecessioninthe developedworld(PleaseseeChart6forWorldSodaAshProductionForecast)AsmoreChineseand Indianpeoplewanttodrivecarsinsteadofscooters,ownmultistoryhomeswithmanywindowsand workinhighrisebuildingsthathaveanallglassfaade,itiscertainlypossiblethatsodaashdemandwill mirrorGDPgrowthindevelopingcountries. Conclusion AlthoughtheLeblancprocessisnotusedtoday,thesyntheticproductionofsodaashisaveryimportant source.EvenaftertheIndustrialRevolutionandworldwars,sodaashcontinuestobeanimportant commodityfortheworld.Itwouldbemuchhardertoproduceglassandwashclotheswithoutsodaash. Asfarasindustrialmineralsgo,sodaashisfairlyanonymous,butitsimpactisinvaluableformodern standardsofliving.Theriseoflivingstandardsinthedevelopingworldwillcreatedemandforsodaash fortheforeseeablefuture.

Chart1:U.S.SodaAshConsumption:Reported
Year 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Soda Ash Consumption: Reported 6,380 6,430 6,270 6,260 6,200 6,110 5,940 5,700 5,020 5,270 (Thousand metric tons)

U.S.SODAASHCONSUMPTION:REPORTED
7,000 000'sMetricTonsofSodaAshConsumption 6,000 5,000 4,000 3,000 2,000 1,000 0 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

Data reproduced from 2001-2010 Soda Ash Minerals Yearbook from United States Geological Survey All materials located at http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/soda_ash/ Accessed on September 16th, 2011

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Chart4:EstimatedWorldSodaAshProduction
SODA ASH: ESTIMATED WORLD PRODUCTION Year 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Metric Tons 35,700 37,200 38,400 40,300 41,900 43,700 45,900 46,700 44,300 47,500 (Thousand metric tons) 4% 3% 5% 4% 4% 5% 2% -5% 7% % Change from prior year

SODAASH:ESTIMATEDWORLDPRODUCTION BYYEAR
50,000 000'sMetricTonSodaAshProduction 45,000 40,000 35,000 30,000 25,000 20,000 15,000 10,000 5,000 0 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

Data reproduced from 2001-2010 Soda Ash Minerals Yearbook from United States Geological Survey All materials located at http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/soda_ash/ Accessed on September 16th, 2011

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Chart5:SodaAshValue
Year 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Avg. ($) Value f.o.b. per metric ton 74.73 74.96 71.88 70.27 88.39 100.52 114.12 134.6 143.17 128.39

SODAASH($)VALUEF.O.B.PERMETRICTON BYYEAR
$)ValueofMetricTonF.O.B.SodaAsh 160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

Data reproduced from 2001-2010 Soda Ash Minerals Yearbook from United States Geological Survey All materials located at http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/soda_ash/ Accessed on September 16th, 2011

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Chart6:Forecasted10yearSodaAshProduction
SODA ASH: ESTIMATED WORLD PRODUCTION Year 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 Metric Tons* 49,400 51,376 53,431

80,000 000'sMetrictonsofSodaAshProduction 70,000 60,000 50,000 40,000 30,000 20,000 10,000 0

ForecastedGrowthofSodaAshProduction2011 2020

55,568 57,791 60,103 62,507 65,007 67,607 70,312 (Thousand metric tons)

*Assuming 4% growth rate for next 10 years

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ReferencesCited
Anthony,J.W.,Bideaux,R.A.,Bladh,K.W.,andNichols,M.C.,Eds.,2005,HandbookofMineralogy, MineralogicalSocietyofAmerica,Chantilly,VA201511110,USA.URL: http://www.handbookofmineralogy.com/pdfs/trona.pdf(lastrevised2005). Heymann,E.,2010,WebsiteforDeutscheBankResearch:Automobilemarkets:Hugepentupdemandin ChinaandIndia,URL: http://www.dbresearch.com/servlet/reweb2.ReWEB;jsessionid=DC3857C0606C5C5CF2C34D8B65330E9 A.srv11dbr com?addmenu=false&document=PROD0000000000267387&rdShowArchivedDocus=true&rwnode=DBR _INTERNET_ENPROD$NAVIGATION&rwobj=ReDisplay.Start.class&rwsite=DBR_INTERNET_ENPROD (lastrevised21Dec.2010) InternationalMonetaryFund(IMF),2011,WorldEconomicOutlook:TensionsfromtheTwoSpeed RecoveryUnemployment,Commodities,andCapitalFlows,72p.URL: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2011/01/pdf/text.pdf(lastrevisedApril2011) Kiefer,D.M.,January2002,WebsiteforToday'sChemistAtWorkArticle:"ItWasAllaboutAlkali."URL: http://pubs.acs.org/subscribe/archive/tcaw/11/i01/html/01chemchron.html(lastrevised2002). Kiefer,D.M.,February2002,WebsiteforToday'sChemistAtWorkArticle:"Sodaash,Solvaystyle."URL: http://pubs.acs.org/subscribe/archive/tcaw/11/i02/html/02chemchron.html(lastrevised2002). Kostick,D.,1995,"Wyoming:theSodaAshCapitaloftheWorld."GuidebookWyomingGeological Association,p.99109.AAPG(AmericanAssociationofPetroleumGeologists)Datapages.Web.14Sept. 2011.http://search.datapages.com/data/wga/data/058/058001/pdfs/99.pdf. Kostick,D.,2010,U.S.GeologicalSurvey,MineralsYearbook2010:U.S.GeologicalSurvey,p.70.170.9, URL:http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/soda_ash/myb12010sodaa.pdf Kostick,D.,2011,U.S.GeologicalSurvey,Mineralcommoditysummaries2011:U.S.GeologicalSurvey, 150p.,URL:http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/mcs/2011/mcs2011.pdf PikeResearch,2011,WebsiteforPikeResearch:RetailandMultiUnitResidentialSegmentstoDrive GlobalBuildingSpaceGrowththrough2020URL:http://www.pikeresearch.com/newsroom/retailand multiunitresidentialsegmentstodriveglobalbuildingspacegrowththrough2020(lastrevised19 Sept.2011). Santini,K.,Fastert,T.,andHarris,R.,2006,IndustrialMinerals&Rocks:Commodities,Markets,and Uses.7thed.Littleton:SocietyforMining,Metallurgy,andExploration,2006.85978.

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