Vanadium is a chemical element in the Periodic Table marked with the atomic number of 23 and with the chemical symbol V. This chemical element belongs to period 4 elements and the Transition Metals category. Similar to the rest of the Transition Metal elements Vanadium possesses various metallic properties. In the Periodic Table Vanadium is preceded by Titanium and is followed by Chromium.
Vanadium was discovered back in 1801 in Mexico and has since been studied and applied in a large variety of commercial, industrial and scientific aspects. This Transition Metal is found in a number of living organisms as a form of toxin and occurs as a natural element in more than 60 various minerals and fossil fuel deposits. It is also present in seawater and can be found in the Sun and other early A-stars. Most of Vanadium’s production is aimed towards the manufacturing of steel alloys. It is of extreme and vital importance to a number of marine creatures as it serves as a vital source of enzymes. All of Vanadium’s compounds are highly toxic to human beings and the lethal dosage is quite low.
Physical Characteristics of Vanadium
In terms of physical characteristics Vanadium is a typical Transition Metal. It appears in a silvery grey to blue-ish metallic luster and is a relatively hard, malleable and ductile element. Vanadium compounds produce a brilliant range of colors. This chemical element is harder and less brittle than most metallic elements in the Periodic Table. It is resistant and stable when subjected to corrosion, air, hydrochloric acids, sulfuric acids, and Alkalis. It is a solid element, which crystalizes in a body-centered cubic crystal structure, and has a paramagnetic magnetic ordering. Vanadium has noteworthy high melting and boiling points – at 2183 K and 3680 K in their respective order.
Chemical Properties of Vanadium
Atomic Number – 23
Group – 5
Period – 4
Block – d
Electronic Configuration – 3d3 4s2
Relative Atomic Mass – 50.9415 (50.9415 g/mol)
Molecular Weight – 50.9415
Electronegativity – 1.63
Density (G CM-3) – 6.0 g/cm3 at room temperature; 5.5 g/cm3 in liquid state
Melting Point – 2183 K; 1910 °C; 3470 °F
Boiling Point – 3680 K; 3407 °C; 6165 °F
Atomic Radius – 134 pm
Isotopes – 1
Electronic Shell – 2, 8, 11, 2
Discovery of Vanadium
The discovery of Vanadium was carried out back in 1801 by a Spanish-Mexican mineralogist, named Andres Manuel del Rio, who detected the presence of a new chemical element in a sample of a Mexican lead ore, which was later named Vanadinite. He decided to propose the name Erythronium for the new element due to the fact that most of its salts produced a brown-red color upon heating.
The very first isolation of the newly discovered chemical element was carried out in 1830 by a Swedish chemist, named Nils Gabriel Sefstrom, who proposed the name Vanadium – naming the Transition Metal after the Scandinavian goddess Vanadis for the wide colorful range of the element’s compounds.
Recognized by: Andres Manuel del Rio (1801)
Known and discovered by: Andres Manuel del Rio (1801)
Named by: Nils Gabriel Sefstrom (1830)
Uses and role of Vanadium
Vanadium does not play any biological roles to human beings as it is quite toxic and lethal. However, it has a number of commercial and scientific uses and does play a biological role for some marine creatures, birds and fungi.
This Transition Metal is mostly used in alloys in the form of steel additives for gears, tools, axles, knives, and surgical instruments. When alloyed with Titanium and Aluminum this element is used for dental implants, jet engines, and air frames. Other uses of Vanadium include superconducting magnets, fusion reactors, catalysts, jewelry pieces, conversion coating for steel, and Vanadium redox batteries.
Vanadium on Earth
Vanadium can be found as a natural element in over 60 different minerals and fossil fuel deposits on Earth. It is extremely abundant in the Earth’s crust and in seawater. This chemical element is the 22nd most abundant of all elements in the Periodic Table. The most significant sources of Vanadium on Earth are crude oil deposits, patronite, vanadinite, and carnotite.
Recent studies and discoveries have proposed possible applications of Vanadium as a valuable compound of Lithium ion batteries, such as the Lithium Vanadium phosphate (LVP) batteries.