Selenium is a natural component of copper concentrates and arises during the treatment of anode slimes.
The crude selenium at Aurubis is further processed into pure selenium (99.999 % purity) and selenium chemicals by Aurubis’ wholly-owned subsidiary Retorte GmbH.
From the glass industry to the electro-optical industry
Crude selenium serves as the starting material for the production of almost all selenium products. Most of the annual demand of about 2,000-2,500 t of refined selenium is used in the glass industry as a decolorant and coloring agent, as well as an alloying metal for steel and lead. Likewise, it is an essential trace element for mammals and is added to animal feed in the form of sodium selenite. Selenium is used in foodstuffs and the pharmaceutical industry, e.g., in baby food and vitamin injections, to give metals antique coloring, and to produce rectifiers, digital X-ray detectors, and high-performance photocopying drums in the electric and electro-optical industries.