Molybdenum Facts

Molybdenum Facts
Molybdenum (Mo) has an atomic number of forty-two. This transition metal is a hard, silvery colored element that was often confused with graphite.
Interesting Molybdenum Facts:
Carl Wilhelm Scheele of Sweden discovered molybdenum in 1781.
He was experimenting with molybdenite ore, which was always believed to contain lead.
Scheele demonstrated that the element was not lead, and named the new element after the mineral.
Molybdenum is not a naturally occurring element, but is always found in its different states within other minerals.
Molybdenum is vital for the enzymes in bacteria to undergo nitrogen fixation.
There are approximately fifty molybdenum-containing enzymes, which are found in both bacteria and animals.
It is necessary for all eukaryotes.
Molybdenum is the fifty-fourth most common element on Earth (crust).
It is the twenty-fifth most commonly occurring element in the Earth's oceans.
The Russian space program's Luna 24 mission also discovered samples of molybdenum on the moon.
Molybdenum has the sixth highest melting point of all elements.
Molybdenum has thirty-five known isotopes.
Seven of those isotopes occur naturally.
Of those seven, only one, Mb-100, is unstable.
Almost 25% of all molybdenum is Mb-98, making it the most abundant.
It does not react with water at normal temperatures, but above 600 degrees Celsius it forms molbydenum trioxide.
Molybdenum trioxide is extremely volatile, and cannot form a protective oxidation layer.
The tensile strength of molybdenum increases as the diameter of the sample decreases.
This makes it highly valuable for producing molybdenum wires.
While mined commercially from other ores, molybdenum is also produced as a result of tungsten and copper mining.
Molybdenum has served a number of purposes in the military.
It was used as a plating on British WWI tanks, allowing greater speed and maneuvering while still offering protection.
Molybdenum alloyed with steel was used by the German army to create heavy artillery pieces.
The famous "Big Bertha" German howitzers were made from a molybdenum steel alloy, as steel alone melted under the heat from the blast.

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