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SUMMARY - Nickel is a naturally occurring element that exists in nature mainly in the form of sulfide, oxide, and silicate minerals. Because it is ubiquitous, humans are routinely exposed to nickel in various amounts. “Zero exposure” to nickel is thus not possible. Nickel has been shown to be an essential element in certain microorganisms, animals, and plants. The generally held view is that nickel is probably an essential element for humans as well.
Nickel is an extremely important commercial element. Factors which make nickel and its alloys valuable commodities include strength, corrosion resistance, high ductility, good thermal and electric conductivity, magnetic characteristics, and catalytic properties. Its principle use is in stainless steels which are particularly valued for their hygienic properties. In some applications, nickel alloys are essential and cannot be substituted with other materials. Nickel plays important roles in environmental technologies to mitigate climate change, and alternative sources of energy. In recent years, the applications of nickel in the energy field, such as in electric batteries and energy storage, have increased. Given its many beneficial properties, nickel is used in a wide variety of products discussed below.CONTINUE READING ON: nickelinstitute.org
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