What Is Indium?

Have you ever heard of Indium? Don’t be surprised if you haven’t. Indium is one of the rarest minerals on Earth. It is rarely found by itself in nature, more often being found compiled with deposits of Zinc, Iron, Lead, or Copper. 


Since it is so rare, Indium is an important element in e-waste recycling which is the process of extracting valuable materials from recycled electronic waste. But what is Indium? And how is it useful in your life?

What Is Indium?

Indium is a metal that is usually silvery-white in appearance. Superficially, it looks like silver or Tin. It is stable in air and water and melts at a low temperature (156ºC), which is lower than other metals like Tin.


At position #49 on the periodic table, indium is grouped in with other basic metals such as aluminum, tin, and bismuth. But those metals are usually hard to the touch and don’t break easily. 


That’s where the most significant difference of Indium comes into play: it’s a soft metal. It is so soft you can cut it with a knife. This property makes Indium easy to be shaped into very thin layers as coatings for other materials.

Are You Using Indium Right Now?

Indium is often combined with other elements to make both materials stronger and more useful. You may be using a product containing Indium right now and don’t even know it.


For example, Indium is used in battery production as a substitute for Mercury. As a thin metal, Indium can be used as a coating for glass such as LCD touchscreens, LED lighting, skyscraper windows, and welder’s glasses. When compiled with other elements such as Copper, Indium can be used in making photovoltaic cells for use in solar panels. 


Instead of sending your old computers to a landfill, Newtech Recycling can assist you with computer recycling to extract indium and other valuable minerals from your old computers.

A person using a tablet with a touch screen, made with indium components

Dangers of Indium

You must be careful when handling indium directly. Like mercury, indium must be handled with care. Despite its fragility, it can be toxic if injected into the bloodstream or inhaled directly.


It can also produce birth defects, so pregnant women should avoid Indium altogether. You should leave Indium handling to professionals like Newtech Recycling.

What Is E-waste Recycling?

E-waste recycling is the process of extracting valuable materials from old and obsolete electronic equipment. Your company may have a large inventory of old electronic equipment that gets replaced regularly, so it’s important to account for its disposal. 


nstead of sending it all to your local landfill, it should be recycled to extract indium and other valuable materials to use in the next generation of equipment your company may acquire.

Newtech Recycling is Here to Help

Despite its lack of notoriety and scarcity, Indium is one of the most ubiquitous elements on Earth due to its presence in smartphone displays, computer monitors, and televisions. You are most likely reading this text through a thin transparent layer of Indium.

Remember to contact Newtech Recycling to assist with computer recycling to recover the Indium from any old computers your organization may have.

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