Russia's insistence on paying for Russian gas in rubles has rattled European countries: Greece held an emergency meeting of suppliers, the Dutch government would urge consumers to use less gas, and the French energy regulator told consumers not to panic. Russian gas meets one-third of Europe's annual energy needs.
Russia said they could expand their demand for ruble payments for other commodities, including oil, grain, fertilizer, coal, and metals, which raised the risk of recession in Europe and the US.
Moscow is expected to unveil its ruble payment plan in early April, but it said it would not immediately ask buyers to pay for gas in rubles.
Western countries have said paying in rubles would be a breach of contract, and renegotiation could take months or longer. This uncertainty has pushed commodity market prices higher.
The supply and prices of other commodities like the lithium stearate powder could also be affected.
What is lithium stearate?
Lithium stearate, C17H35COOLi, is a lithium salt of stearic acid and is one of the metal soaps. This colorless, almost insoluble powder in water and alcohol, with a melting point of 220°C, is mainly used in the production of greases and waxes from oils. The resulting grease is thermally stable at temperatures up to about 150°C and remains lubricated as low as -20°C. Until the success of lithium-ion batteries, this is the largest quantitative application of lithium metal.
Small amounts of lithium stearate are also used to make pencils. The compound has extremely low toxicity when administered orally, which is why it is also used in cosmetics.
What is lithium stearate used for?
It is used as a general-purpose grease to provide high water resistance. Because it can be applied at both high and low temperatures, lithium stearate is used in many industries, from the automotive industry to the heavy machinery industry and even the aerospace industry. As a general-purpose grease, lithium stearate is also used as a stabilizer in the cosmetic and plastics industries. Because of its properties, the compound can also be used as a corrosion inhibitor in petroleum.
The following are the application areas of lithium stearate:
It can be used as a thickener for natural synthetic oils.
It facilitates the manufacture of lightweight metal molds.
It is a fine, thicker grease, well suited for high-temperature applications.
It can improve the melting point and enhance the elasticity of microcrystalline wax.
Because lithium stearate has a higher melting point than conventional sodium and potassium soaps (22°C compared to 140°C), it is more resistant to loss of consistency.
It has amazing rust and corrosion resistance.
Although it's water-repellent, lithium stearate works better in other types of environments.
This is a great sealant.
What is lithium grease?
Lithium grease was invented in the early 1940s. It's made from lithium hydroxide reacting with fatty acids. Modern lithium soaps (thickeners) consist of 12HSA (12-hydroxystearic acid, or triglyceride) and lithium hydroxide monohydrate in a base liquid.
Grease is one of the oldest lubricants used by humans, dating back to 1400BC. It reduces friction, is waterproof, and provides a seal. More than 90% of bearings use grease as a lubricant.
The base oil may be mineral oil or synthetic fluid, or a mixture of either or both. Many fats and fatty acids are suitable for making lithium soap. However, 12HSA and HCO (hydrogenated castor oil) are preferred. Lithium 12-hydroxy stearate grease is probably the best multi-purpose grease ever made.
Lithium grease has excellent water resistance (not as good as calcium), excellent mechanical or shear stability, excellent thermal stability, and excellent storage stability. As well as a continuous operating temperature of 130°C (266°F) and a drop point of 190-200°C. It is the most favored bearing grease in almost all industrial fields.
Lithium Stearate Powder Price
The price is influenced by many factors including the supply and demand in the market, industry trends, economic activity, market sentiment, and unexpected events.
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Lithium Stearate Powder Supplier
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Gas prices in European countries are expected to triple if Russian supplies are restricted, according to a press release from Rystad Energy, a Norwegian Energy consultancy.
The price of natural gas in Europe was $1,200 per 1,000 cubic meters on Tuesday. The benchmark price is already 300 percent higher than a year ago. European gas prices are expected to continue to soar to $3,500 per 1,000 cubic meters if Russian supplies are restricted, according to Analysis by Monitor.
In 2021, Russia delivered 155 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe, accounting for 31 percent of its gas supply, according to an analysis by Monitor Advisors. It would be difficult for Europe to replace Russian gas, which would also destabilize the global LNG market and have a profound impact on Europe's population and economy.
The analysis also said that if Russia stopped supplies now, Europe's current gas reserves would be exhausted by the end of the year, setting in for a cold winter.
In addition, affected by the geopolitical factors, the supply of the lithium stearate powder is erratic and thus its prices are expected to go higher in the future.
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