Furthermore, the firm looks in detail at four applications for which it has particularly high expectations: batteries, ethylene oxide (EO), anti-bacterial and bearings. Here's a brief look at what has CRU so excited about those sectors: Batteries: CRU describes itself as "reasonably bullish about silver demand in batteries," though it does note that technological factors could impact the sector. For instance, while silver-zinc batteries could eventually replace lithium-ion batteries in "many expensive electronic devices," that's dependent on scientists figuring out how to extend their life. EO: Silver is used as a catalyst in the production of EO, products of which are used to make things like anti-freeze, polyester and solvents. Some EO is also used in the sterilization of healthcare products. Silver used in this arena is almost totally recoverable, but as "EO capacity is forecast to continue to grow," CRU nevertheless sees opportunity in this arena. Anti-bacterial: Silver has long been valued for its anti-bacterial properties, and CRU doesn't see that letting up any time soon. However, some risks are attached to this source of demand — the firm states that the increasing use of nanosilver in anti-bacterial applications has led to concerns about how it could impact the environment and human health. Bearings: According to CRU, silver-coated bearings "are used extensively throughout industry for heavy-duty equipment and hi-tech applications." While the firm sees demand from this area rising slowly, silver is "as yet unsubstitutable" in bearings, so prospects are good.