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Zirconium

What the name means: Zirconium derives from the Persian word zargun, meaning "like gold" and the Arabic translation from the Persian, zarkun.

Zirconium

Zirconium atom

Zirconium atom

 

 

(Note: Can also exist as 1+, 2+ or 3+ ions.)

Zirconium ion

 

Zirconium ion

Who identified zirconium?: The gemstone zircon was prized by the ancients. In 1789, Martin Heinrich Klaproth, working in Berlin, studied a sample of zircon from Sri Lanka (at that time known as Ceylon). He concluded that it was made of about 70% of an oxide of a new metal. He called this oxide zirconia. In 1824, Jöns Jakob Berzelius managed to extract an impure sample of zirconium. It took another ninety years to obtain a pure sample of the metal.

 

Properties

ZRPROPS

STP = standard temperature and pressure.
Usually considered as room temperature and pressure.

 

About zirconium: Zirconium is never found as the free element in the Earth's crust. It is a hard, silvery metal and extremely resistant to corrosion. It is used in the walls of nuclear reactors since it does not easily absorb neutrons. Interestingly enough, although Zirconium is rare in the Earth's crust, it has a greater percentage occurrence in lunar rock samples.

 

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