Home > Iodine > Japan, a Resource Rich Country
Iodine is a nonmetallic element, and therefore, cannot be produced by means of chemical synthesis. From an industrial standpoint, it can only be extracted as iodine containing resources. While natural resources other than iodine scarce in Japan, iodine production in Japan covers as much as approximately 30% of the total iodine production in the world.
Iodine is included in sea water and soil as well as in the air in the form of iodide ion and other iodine compounds. Normally, it is not suitable for the raw materials for commercial iodine production, since its iodine concentration is very low and iodine production cost is very high .Iodine production from these resources is difficult at present.
As the iodine concentration in various types of seaweed is high, they were used as the raw material for iodine production. Today, however, production is conducted only in areas where iodine concentration is high in brines from oil fields and natural gas fields,and in caliche from Nitre at Chilean nitrate industry.
The brine in the Southern Kanto gas field developed by us and other manufacturers contains approximately 100 ppm (0.1 g per 1 kg) iodine. This gas field has huge reserves of iodine.