Australian Government: National Pollutant Inventory: Nickel & compounds
The vast majority of nickel is used in alloys and more than 3,000 nickel alloys have been identified. Nickel is used to make stainless steel and other metal alloys. Nickel is commonly alloyed with iron, copper (Monel), chromium, aluminium and zinc. Alloys are used in the making of metal coins and jewellery and, in industry, for making metal items. Nickel and nickel compounds are used for nickel electroplating, to colour ceramics, to make batteries, for permanent magnet materials, and as catalysts.
Nickel acetate is used mainly as a mordant in the textile industry, and as a hydrogenation catalyst. It is also used as an intermediate in the formation of other nickel compounds, as a sealer for anodised aluminium, and in nickel electroplating.
Nickel carbonate is used as a chemical intermediate for nickel oxide, nickel powder, and nickel catalysts. It serves in electric components, such as vacuum tubes and transistor cans. It is used as a catalyst to remove organic contaminants from wastewater or potable water. It is used in the preparation of coloured glass, in the manufacture of certain nickel pigments, as a neutralising compound in nickel electroplating solution, and in the preparation of many specialty nickel compounds.
Nickel hydroxide is used in nickel-cadmium batteries and as a chemical intermediary for nickel catalysts and nickel salts. The hydrogenation of finely powdered newspaper with a nickel hydroxide catalyst produces conversion in high yields of cellulose feed materials to liquid hydrocarbon fuels.
Nickel oxide is used in fuel cell electrodes, the production of active nickel catalysts, electroplating, and colouring and decolourising glass. It is also used in the manufacture of nickel salts which can be used to make refined nickel oxide. It is used in non-metallic resistance thermometers or thermistors, which are temperature-sensitive semiconducting ceramics.