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titanium (Ti)

Titanium. Credit:
A hard, silver-gray metallic element in group IVB of the periodic table; it is a transition element. Titanium occurs naturally in the minerals rutile and ilmenite, from which it is extracted by conversion to titanium (IV) chloride and reduction by magnesium. It is the 9th most common element in the Earth's crust. The metal and its alloys are strong, light (titanium is about as strong as steel but 45% lighter), and corrosion- and temperature-resistant, and, although expensive, are used for construction in the aerospace industry.

Titanium is moderately reactive, forming tetravalent compounds, including titanates (TiO32-), and less stable di- and tri-valent compounds.

atomic number 22
relative atomic mass 47.867
relative density 4.506
melting point 1,668°C (3,034°F)
boiling point 3,287°C (5949°F)

Discovery of titanium

In 1791, the Reverend William Gregor, an English clergyman and mineralogist, reported that he had discovered a magnetic black sand near the beaches of Cornwall, England. The mineral was named menachanite after the local parish of Menaccan. A few years after Gregor's discovery, Martin Klaproth, a German chemist, separated titanium dioxide (TiO2) from the mineral rutile. Klaproth named the new element titanium after the giants of Greek mythology. In 1825, Jöns Berzelius performed a crude separation of titanium metal. However, it was not until 1910 that M. A. Hunter, an American chemist, produced pure titanium. W. J. Kroll patented his method for producing titanium metal in 1938. Coincidently, commercial production of titanium metal and titanium dioxide pigment began in the 1940s.

[This section is adapted from the Mineral Information Institute's website.]

Titanium compounds

Titanium (IV) oxide (TiO2) is used as a white pigment in paints, ceramics, etc. Titanium (IV) chloride (TiCl4) finds use as a catalyst.

External website

Titanium (Guardian newspaper, includes helpful Youtube video links)

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