Vanadium is the 23rd element on the Periodic Table. The element went through phases of discovery and rediscovery. The name of the element has a very interesting angle to it. We will tell you all that but before we jump on to our list of Vanadium facts, let us take a quick look at some basic information related to the element. Shall we begin?
Facts about Vanadium Element – Some Basic Information at a Glance
|Element Family||Transition Metal|
|Atomic Weight||50.9415 amu|
|Melting Point||1910 °C or 2183 °K|
|Boiling Point||3407 °C or 3680 °K|
|Density at 20 degrees Celsius||6.1 g/cm3|
|Number of Electrons||23|
|Number of Neutrons (as found in the most abundant isotope)||28|
|Number of Protons||23|
|Element Structure||Body-centered cubic (bcc)|
|Atomic Radius||134 pm|
Facts about Vanadium – Isotopes of Vanadium
|Isotope Name||Type and Abundance||Half-Life (HL)|
|40V||No Data Available||No Data Available|
|41V||Radioactive||No Data Available|
|42V||Radioactive||< 55 nanoseconds|
|50V||Radioactive, 0.250% natural abundance||> 2.1×10+17 years|
|51V||Stable, 99.750% natural abundance||Stable so no HL|
Vanadium Facts: 1-17 | History of Vanadium
Vanadium Facts: Initial Discovery of Vanadium
1. A Mexican-Spanish scientist, Andres Manuel del Rio discovered the element Vanadium.
2. He discovered Vanadium in a brown lead ore (known as Vanadinite) in Mexico.
3. He found that the new element’s salts showed a variety of colors and hence named the new element as “Panchromium” (all colors).
4. He then changed the name from Panchromium to “Erythronium” as he found that most of the element’s salts turned red upon heating.
Vanadium Facts: An Incorrect Declaration
5. In 1805, Hippolyte Victor Collet-Descotils with the support of Baron Alexander Von Humboldt (friend of Rio) incorrectly stated that Manuel del Rio found the impure sample of Chromium.
6. Manuel del Rio accepted the declaration and withdrew his claim.
Vanadium Facts: Rediscovery of Vanadium
7. Vanadium was rediscovered by Nils Gabriel Sefström a Swedish scientist in the year 1831.
8. He discovered the element in a different oxide while working with iron ores.
9. In the same year, Friedrich Wöhler confirmed that Manuel del Rio was the first discoverer of Vanadium.
Vanadium Facts: Naming of Vanadium
10. Nils Gabriel Sefström wanted to name the element after the letter V as no element had a name which started with V.
11. Sefström named the new element Vanadium after Vanir Goddess Freyja (Vanadís is one of her many names).
12. He named it after her because one of her attributes were beauty and chemical compounds of Vanadium were beautiful.
13. In the same year, George William Featherstonhaugh recommended that the name should be changed to Rionium after the first discoverer Manuel del Rio. But it was not accepted.
Vanadium Facts: Isolation of Vanadium
14. Just like Titanium, the isolation of the element was very difficult.
15. Berzelius declared that he produced the metal. However, Henry Enfield Roscoe proved that Berzelius produced Vanadium Nitride (VN) but not pure Vanadium.
16. It was in the year 1867 that Roscoe produced the metal. He reduced Vanadium Chloride with Hydrogen.
17. Pure Vanadium was produced in the year 1927. Vanadium Pentoxide was reduced with Calcium.
Vanadium Facts: 18-25 | Characteristics of Vanadium Element
18. Vanadium is a steel-blue metal, which is moderately hard and is ductile.
19. It conducts electricity but is thermally insulating.
20. Some scientists may consider that Vanadium is soft because it is malleable, ductile and not brittle.
21. However, it is harder than steel and most of the metals. It is resistant to corrosion and can withstand and stay stable even against Sulfuric acid, Hydrochloric acids, and alkalis.
22. It gets oxidized in air at a temperature of 933 K or 660o C. It must be noted that an oxide layer forms and protects the rest of the element when it is exposed to air which is at room temperature.
23. The element is mostly seen in the oxidation state of 5. But the chemical compounds of Vanadium have oxidation states from 2 to 5.
24. Vanadium compounds with 2 as oxidation state act as reducing agents and compounds which have 5 as oxidation state act as oxidizing agents.
25. Vanadium compounds with 2 as oxidation state show lavender color. Vanadium compounds with 3 as oxidation state show a green color. Vanadium compounds with 4 as oxidation state produce blue color and Vanadium compounds with 5 as oxidation state produce a yellow color.
Vanadium Facts: 26-45 | Vanadium Uses
26. 85% of the Vanadium produced is used as ferrovanadium.
27. Small amounts of Vanadium added to steal increases the tensile strength of steel as it can form stable carbide and nitrides with steel. It was discovered in the mid-20th century.
28. Vanadium element is used in the production of axles, crankshafts, bicycle frames, gears, etc.
29. When steel is mixed with Vanadium, and a little of Chromium, the steel becomes both shock resistant and vibration resistant.
30. There are two types of Vanadium alloys. One is Vanadium high-carbon steel alloys. They contain 0.15 to 0.25% of Vanadium.
31. The other type, High-speed tool steels and they contain 1 to5% of Vanadium. This type of alloy is used in making surgical instruments.
32. Powder-metallurgic alloys (alloys made up of powdered metals) contain nearly 18% of Vanadium. These alloys have greater wear and tear resistance.
33. These alloys (powder-metallurgic alloys) are used in the production of knives and tools.
34. Vanadium increases the temperature stability and strength of Titanium significantly.
35. Vanadium is mixed with Aluminum in Titanium alloys and is used in dental implants, jet engines, and high-speed airframes.
36. Titanium alloy used for aerospace, defense etc., uses 2.5% of Vanadium. Another common Titanium alloy – Titanium 6AL-4V contains 4% Vanadium and 6% Aluminum.
37. Many alloys of Vanadium show superconducting behavior. In fact, the first ever A15 phase superconductor had V3Si, a Vanadium compound (discovered in 1952).
38. Superconducting magnets use Vanadium-Gallium tapes.
39. Compounds of Vanadium act as catalysts (for example Vanadium acts as a catalyst for the production of Sulfuric acid) and oxidizers. Vanadium Pentoxide is useful in ceramics.
40. Vanadium Dioxide is used in the manufacturing of glass coatings which have the property of blocking Infrared Radiation (IR) but not visible light at a certain temperature.
41. Vanadium redox batteries were proposed for the first time in the 1930s. They were commercially available by 1980s. These batteries are now used for small-scale grid energy storage.
42. Vanadate (a compound of Vanadium) protects steel from rusting. The foil of Vanadium is used to bond Titanium with steel as it is compatible with both the metals.
43. Ford Model T car was completely made of an alloy containing Vanadium.
44. Vanadium element was also used to make body armor and portable artillery pieces in World War I.
45. It is used to refine Uranium for nuclear purposes.
Vanadium Facts: 46-51 | Abundance of Vanadium
47. It is the 20th most abundant element in earth‘s crust. The pure form of Vanadium is difficult to obtain but its compounds are present in over 65 different minerals.
48. Some of the minerals from which Vanadium is obtained are Magnetite, Vanadinite, Carnotite, and Patrónite, etc. It is mined mostly in China, Russia, and South Africa. These three countries make up 98% of the extraction of Vanadium in the world.
49. It is also seen in bauxite, coal, crude oil, tar sands, and oil shales. It has a concentration of 1200 ppm in crude oil. Just by burning fossil fuels, nearly 110,000 tons of Vanadium is released into the atmosphere every year.
50. Vanadium is present in abundant quantities (30nM – please note that nM is a type of measurement which means Molar Concentration) in seawater in the form of vanadyl ion.
51. Some water springs also contain high concentrations of Vanadium. For example, springs surrounding Mount Fuji have nearly 54 μg Vanadium in every liter.
Vanadium Facts: 52-58 | Vanadium in Life Forms
52. Many marine algae produce an enzyme, Vanadium bromoperoxidase which contains Vanadium.
57. The effect of Vanadium on the human body is not known till this day. However, according to the Royal Society of Chemistry, it is essential for human beings. Tolerable Upper Intake Level is set at 1.8 mg per day.
58. Vanadyl Sulfate is being researched as a source of increasing the sensitivity of insulin. The research is ongoing and no conclusive result has been reached till now.
Vanadium Facts: 59-62 | Toxicity and Harmful Effects
59. Vanadium is toxic. The toxicity of the compounds of Vanadium varies.
60. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) stated that more than 35 mg/m3 (airborne concentration) is dangerous for health and life.
61. Inhaling Vanadium may cause serious respiratory problems. It may be carcinogenic and has adverse effects on reproductive organs as well.
62. During combustion, Vanadium oxidizes and then reacts with Sulfur and Sodium to produce vanadate compounds. These compounds make the steel vulnerable to corrosion by attacking the passivation layer of steel. Solid compounds of Vanadium wear down the engines.
Vanadium Facts: 63 | Price
63. A kilogram of pure Vanadium costs 22,000 USD whereas bulk Vanadium is pretty affordable – 270 USD a kilogram.