Cadmium Facts

Cadmium Facts
Cadmium (Cd) has an atomic number of forty-eight. It is a bluish metal with forty-eight protons in the nucleus of an atom.
Interesting Cadmium Facts:
In 1817, Friedrich Stromeyer discovered cadmium after isolating it from zinc carbonate.
He found that an impurity in the zinc carbonate changed color when heated, which ZnCO3 does not do.
Karl Samuel Leberecht Hermann, also of Germany, discovered cadmium the same year and while studying the same impurity in zinc carbonate.
Before krypton, the International Conference on Weights and Measures once calibrated a one meter length based on the spectral line of cadmium.
The Earth's crust contains about 0.1 parts per million of cadmium.
There are no substantial deposits of cadmium ores.
Cadmium is typically produced as a derivative of the processes involved in mining ores of zinc, lead, or copper.
Since cadmium is most often found as an impurity in zinc that Stromeyer and Hermann studied, the main source of cadmium is the refining of zinc.
A typical one ton sample of zinc led to the production of only 6.5 pounds of cadmium.
There are eight isotopes of cadmium, two of which are radioactive.
Three other isotopes are believed to decay, but that has not been confirmed in a lab.
Cadmium is often used as a protective coating on metals because it is naturally resistant to corrosion.
Cadmium electroplating is especially common for aircraft.
Cadmium plays a key role in rechargeable batteries, specifically nickel-cadmium batteries.
It also plays an important role in nuclear energy, as it serves as both a barrier and as an alloy for pressurized water reactors.
In bulk, cadmium is non-flammable, but will burn and release poisonous fumes when in a powdered form.
While cadmium's environmental effects are still being studied, the European Union banned cadmium in electronics nearly ten years ago.
It has no known part in higher organisms, but some ocean diatoms can rely on cadmium when zinc levels are too low.

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