The 25th element on the Periodic Table, Manganese is one of the most fascinating elements that is known to us.

The element was a matter of fascination for the alchemists.

Today, it is known to have widespread applications and it also plays a very important biological role.

Let us take a quick look at some of the most important Manganese facts that we believe will help you with your school projects.

Isotope Name Type and Abundance Half-Life (HL)
44Mn Radioactive <100 nanoseconds
45Mn Radioactive No Data Available
46Mn Radioactive 36.2 milliseconds
47Mn Radioactive 88.0 milliseconds
48Mn Radioactive 158.1 milliseconds
49Mn Radioactive 382 milliseconds
50Mn Radioactive 283.19 milliseconds
51Mn Radioactive 46.2 minutes
52Mn Radioactive 5.59 days
53Mn Radioactive 3.74×10+6 years
54Mn Radioactive 312.12 days
55Mn Stable, 100% natural abundance Stable and hence no HL
56Mn Radioactive 2.5789 hours
57Mn Radioactive 85.4 seconds
58Mn Radioactive 3.0 seconds
59Mn Radioactive 4.59 seconds
60Mn Radioactive 0.28 seconds
61Mn Radioactive 0.67 seconds
62Mn Radioactive 671 milliseconds
63Mn Radioactive 0.275 seconds
64Mn Radioactive 90 milliseconds
65Mn Radioactive 84 milliseconds
66Mn Radioactive 65 milliseconds
67Mn Radioactive 51 milliseconds
68Mn Radioactive 28 milliseconds
69Mn Radioactive 18 milliseconds
70Mn Radioactive > 360 nanoseconds
71Mn Radioactive > 637 nanoseconds

Amazing Manganese Facts: 1-14

Manganese Facts: Some Quick Data 1-7

1. Manganese stands at 25th position on periodic table.

2. It has a symbol Mn.

3. The element Manganese belongs to Transition Metal family.

4. It belongs to group 7 and block d.

5. Just like Chromium, it is a silvery-grey element, which is solid at room temperature.

6. It has an atomic weight of 54.938.

7. Melting point of the element Manganese is 1519 K or 1246 °C or ​2275 °F.

Manganese Facts: Some Quick Data: 8-14

8. Manganese’s boiling point is 2334 K ​or 2061 °C or ​3742 °F.

9. The density of Manganese at 20 degrees Celsius is 7.21 g/cm3.

10. It has 25 electrons, 25 protons and 30 neutrons in its most abundant isotope.

11. The electronic configuration of the element Manganese is 1s22s22p63s23p63d54s2 or [Ar]3d54s2.

12. There are around 28 known isotopes of Manganese out of which only one is stable.

13. The atomic radius of Manganese is 127pm (picometers) and has hardness of 6.0 on Mohs scale.

14. It has body-centered cubic (bcc) element structure.

Amazing Manganese Facts: 15-49

Manganese Facts: History and Discovery: 15-23

15. In olden days, two black minerals were called Magnes (because they were found in Magnesia, a place in modern Greece). But according to Los Alamos National Laboratory, magnes is a Latin word meaning magnets.

16. They differentiated the two Magnes by associating gender to them – that is, one of the minerals was considered male and the other was considered female.

17. Masculine magnes attracted iron. The masculine magnes was actually an ore of iron which is now known as magnetite or lodestone.

18. Feminine magnes didn’t attract iron. It was used to decolorize glass. It was later called magnesia.

19. The feminine magnes is actually the ore of Manganese which is Manganese dioxide or Pyrolusite.

20. Neither Manganese or Manganese dioxide is magnetic.

21. Even in the 16th century, Manganese was called manganesum by glassmakers and alchemists.

22. Basically, alchemists and glassmakers interlinked Magnesium and the new and unknown element (which is actually Manganese).

23. However, they had to differentiate between two ores – Magnesia negra (a black ore) and Magnesia alba (a white ore).

Manganese Facts: History and Discovery: 24-32

24. It was Michele Mercati who termed Magnesia negra as Manganesa. The metal which was isolated came to be known as Manganese.

25. The word Magnesia was then used exclusively to mean Magnesia alba. The metal that was isolated was Magnesium.

26. Oxides of Manganese were colorful and abundant. Hence, we can see the usage of these colorful oxides since Stone Age.

27. France’s Gargas (a place) boasts cave paintings which have colorful Manganese pigments. These cave paintings are around 24,000 to 30,000 years old!

28. Roman and Egyptian glassmakers also used Manganese to either add color to glass or to remove color from glass.

29. In the 1st century CE, the Roman author – Pliny the Elder talked about the black powder (which is basically Manganese dioxide generally called the glassmaker’s soap) which was used to produce colorless glass.

30. Manganese was used even in the Middle Ages and is used in the modern times.

31. Johann Heinrich Pott, a glass technologist from Berlin, inspected pyrolusite and showed that it contained a new earth metal.

32. Earlier to this discovery, pyrolusite was considered to be an ore of Iron.

Manganese Facts: History and Discovery: 33-41

33. Pott then went on to produce Potassium Permanganate (KMnO4) by fusing pyrolusite (MnO2) with caustic soda (NaOH) in air.

34. Did you know that Potassium Permanganate is one of the strongest oxidizing agents known to mankind?

35. The 1700’s later was revolving around the isolation of Manganese from pyrolusite.

36. However, Ignatius Kaim, a student at Vienna, described the procedure of isolating Manganese from the ore in 1771.

37. Ignatius Gottfried Kaim was under the supervision of a chemist Jakab Jozsef Winterl.

38. Ignatius mixed pyrolusite and black flux (twice the amount of pyrolusite) and heated it.

Note: The black flux is unknown or uncertain in this chemical reaction. It is thought that the composition of flux was based on charcoal. 
Note: Flux is any chemical component which is a reducing agent.

39. Ignatius described the product as shiny brittle metal which was blue-whitish in color. He also noticed that it had many facets.

40. When the product was broken and seen from side angle, he saw some blue flecks.

41. Ignatius claimed that there was Iron present in the product. However, he agreed that Manganese he produced was not free from impurities.

Manganese Facts: History and Discovery: 42-49

42. He invited the chemists from all over the world so that pure Manganese could be isolated.

43. Carl Wilhelm Scheele, a Swedish chemist, who discovered Chlorine and was one of the independent discoverers of Oxygen, tried to isolate Manganese but failed.

44. Scheele then asked his friend Johan Gottlieb Gahn to try isolating the element.

45. Johan Gottlieb Gahn, a chemist and mineralogist of Sweden, was successful in isolating the metal from pyrolusite in 1774.

46. Gahn used a chemical reaction similar to that of Ignatius’s. The product Gahn obtained was white and brittle. It was granular when broken.

47. Manganese obtained by Gahn’s chemical reaction was also not pure but it was at this time that Manganese gained importance.

48. It is thought that Spartans steel was a mixture of Iron and Manganese and this is the reason why their steel was harder than normal steel.

49. In 1800’s, Manganese was used in steelmaking and in 1816, it was seen that Iron that was alloyed with Manganese was harder and not brittle.

Amazing Manganese Facts: Properties of Manganese: 50-56

50. As mentioned above, Manganese metal is silver-gray in color. It is solid, hard and brittle.

51. It oxidizes easily and is difficult to fuse. Ions of Manganese are paramagnetic (a property which is shown by some metals which get weakly attracted to magnets).

52. Manganese, just like Iron, rusts in air and in water.

53. There are many oxidation states of Manganese i.e., from -3 to +7. However, common oxidation states of Manganese are +2, +3, +4, +6, and +7.

54. The most common oxidation state is +2 and the ores of Manganese with +2 oxidation state are pink in color.

55. Some halides (any chemical compound which contains halogens like Fluorine, Chlorine, Bromine etc.) of Manganese are extremely powerful oxidizing agents.

56. Ores of Manganese with oxidation state +3 are also strong oxidizing agents. Solid compounds of the element Manganese are of purple-reddish color. Amethysts’ purple color is caused by Manganese.

Amazing Manganese Facts: 57-81

Manganese Facts: Applications 57-62

57. Major applications in metallurgy uses Manganese most of the times and Zinc or sometimes Vanadium replace Manganese in minor applications in metallurgy.

58. Robert Forester Mushel, a British metallurgist, added Spiegeleisen (a ferromanganese alloy) into steel to remove excess Sulfur, Phosphorus and dissolved Oxygen in the year 1856.

59. He added Spiegeleisen to improve the malleability (ability of a substance to deform under pressure) of steel.

60. Since then Manganese has been extensively used in ironmaking and steelmaking. As of today, 85 to 90% of the Manganese produced is used for steelmaking and ironmaking.

61. Manganese is a very critical element in producing low-cost stainless steel.

62. Manganese when added in small amounts to steel increases steel’s workability at high temperatures.

Manganese Facts: Applications 63-68

63. Steel which has around 8 to 15% of Manganese has high tensile strength.

64. Robert Hadfield created steel with 12% Manganese in the year 1882. The steel is called Hadfield Steel, Mangalloy or Manganese steel.

65. It was the first alloy to be a commercial success and was used by British for military helmets and later was used even by USA’s military forces.

66. The next big use of Manganese comes in making Aluminum alloys. Aluminum alloys with either 0.8 or 1.5% of Manganese are highly resistant to corrosion.

67. Beverage cans used for alcoholic drinks, energy drinks, herbal teas etc. use Aluminum alloy which has Manganese in it.

68. MMT or MMCT (Methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl) is used to improve the octane rating or performance of the aviation or the fuel.

Manganese Facts: Applications 69-74

69. Manganese dioxide is used to remove Iron impurities (which cause greenish hue) from glass.

70. MnO2 is also used for the production of Oxygen, Chlorine and for drying black paints.

71. Manganese dioxide is used as brown pigment for the purpose of painting.

72. Did you know that Manganese was used in original kind of dry cell batteries, flashlight cells?

73. Manganese is used in the new alkaline batteries or battery cells even today!

74. Manganese is sometimes used in making coins as well. Till 2000’s the only coin of USA which contained Manganese was the nickel coin during WWII (1942 to 1945).

Manganese Facts: Applications 75-81

75. Nickel coin actually contained 75% Copper and 25% Nickel. However, because there was shortage of Nickel, silver and Manganese were used.

76. Hence during the war, the composition of nickel coin was 56% Copper, 35% Silver, and 9% Manganese.

77. From 2000, Presidential $1 coins and Sacagawea dollar were released by the US government which had around 7% Manganese.

78. Not only Manganese dioxide but other compounds of the element Manganese are used as pigments for coloring glass and ceramics.

79. Generally, Manganese compounds are used to add green or pink color to glass. Neanderthals used to use Manganese dioxide as cosmetic way back some 50,000 years ago.

80. LEDs also used certain compounds of Manganese.

81. Portland cement also uses Manganese dioxide in its cement mixtures.

Amazing Manganese Facts: 82-93

Manganese Facts: Occurrence and Abundance: 82-87

82. Manganese is the 12th most abundant element in earth’s crust (1000 ppm), fifth most abundant metal in earth’s crust and second most abundant transition metal (after Iron).

83. Soil contains around 7 to 9000 ppm of Manganese but the average is 440 ppm.

84. Sea water has around 10 ppm of Manganese and air contains meagre 0.01 µg/m3 of Manganese.

85. The lack of Manganese in the sedimentary rocks (dated between 400 to 1800 million years ago) tells that Oxygen levels were really low in ocean in that time.

86. The ores which contain Manganese are Pyrolusite ((MnO2), Psilomelane ((BaH2O)2Mn5O10), Braunite, (Mn2+Mn3+6)(SiO12), and  Rhodochrosite (MnCO3).

87. Pyrolusite is the most important and commercial ore of Manganese and Rhodochrosite is present at very less extent.

Manganese Facts: Occurrence and Abundance: 87-93

88. The distribution of Manganese is irregular. The countries which have huge deposits of Manganese are South Africa, Australia, India, Ghana, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Gabon, Brazil, China and Ukraine.

89. South Africa hosts numerous mines near Hotazel in Northern Cape Province which produced 3.4 million tons of Manganese in the year 2011. This makes South Africa the largest producer of Manganese.

90. Around 25 million tons of Manganese is mined every year!

91. Did you know that in 1972 CIA used an impractical story of harvesting Manganese nodules from sea floor to hide the actual mission of raising a sunken Soviet Union’s submarine K-129 to get Soviet’s code books?

92. This mission was named Hughes Glomar Explorer funded by a billionaire Howard Hughes.

93. Thanks to this impractical but eye-catching story, everyone went gaga over collecting Manganese nodules from the sea bed.

Amazing Manganese Facts: 94-112

Manganese Facts: Biological Role: 94-99

94. Manganese is extremely important for our body (discovered in the 1950s). It has a role in macronutrient metabolism, immune system, mitochondrial function, bone formation etc.

95. It is a very important part of many proteins (amino acids) and enzymes.

96. Our body has around 12 mg of Manganese most of which is present in our bones and the rest is seen in our liver and kidneys. Manganese is present in our brain as well.

97. Manganese also plays an important role in chloroplasts in plant cells.

98. Foods which contain Manganese are eggs, rice, soybean, nuts, few herbs, olive oil, green beans, spinach, tea etc.  

99. U. S. Institute of Medicine (IOM) has set Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (ULs) for Manganese at 11mg/day.

Manganese Facts: Biological Role: 100-105

100. European Food Security Authority (EFSA) set its Adequate Intake (AI) for adults (15 or >15), pregnant and lactating women at 3.0mg/day and for 1-14-year-old kids AI increases from 0.5 to 2.0 mg/day.

101. EFSA’s AI levels are higher than USA’s RDA levels.

102. USA’s EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has set maximum safe concentration limit at 50 µg Mn/L.

103. Though extremely necessary, our body cannot store it and hence it has to be replenished.

104. Did you know that other species also have Manganese in their bodies? Some species like mollusks, diatoms, sponges etc. can even accumulate Manganese.

105. Manganese may be used to treat arthritis, osteoporosis, premenstrual syndrome, epilepsy, and diabetes.

Manganese Facts: Biological Role: 106-112

106. It must be noted that too much of Manganese is also not good for our body.

107. Though Manganese is less toxic than Nickel or Copper, exposure to Mn dusts and fumes should not exceed 5 mg/m3 even for small duration of time.

108. Strong oxidative nature of Manganese compounds leads to necrosis of mucus membrane, causes severe damage to liver and kidneys.

109. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of USA sets the limit at 5 mg/m3 for 8-hour work.

110. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) set the limit at 1 mg/m3 for 8-hour work and short-term limit at 3 mg/m3.

111. Manganese becomes life-threatening when humans get exposed to a limit of or over 500 mg/m3.

112. To a certain extent, negative effects of Manganese can be reversed if the exposure is stopped and if the body can flush out the excess Manganese.

Amazing Manganese Facts: Price: 113

113. Cost of a kilogram of pure Manganese is 65 USD and cost of a kilogram of bulk Manganese is 2.8 USD.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

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