(Scandinavian goddess, Vanadis) Vanadium was first discovered by del Rio in 1801.Unfortunately, a French chemist incorrectly declared that del Rio's new element was onlyimpure chromium. Del Rio thought himself to bemistaken and accepted the French chemists's statement.
The element was rediscovered in 1830 by Sefstrom, who named the element in honor of theScandinavian goddess, Vanadis, because of its beautiful multicolored compounds. It wasisolated in nearly pure form by Roscoe, in 1867, who reduced the chloride with hydrogen.
Vanadium of 99.3 to 99.8% purity was not produced until 1922.
Vanadium is found in about 65 different minerals among which are carnotite, roscoelite,vanadinite, and patronite, important sources of the metal. Vanadium is also found inphosphate rock and certain iron ores, and is present in some crude oils in the form oforganic complexes. It is also found in small percentages in meteorites.
Commercial production from petroleum ash holds promise as an important source of theelement. High-purity ductile vanadium can be obtained by reduction of vanadium trichloridewith magnesium or with magnesium-sodium mixtures.
Much of the vanadium metal being produced is now made by calcium reduction of V2O5 in a pressure vessel, an adaption of a processdeveloped by McKechnie and Seybair.
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'Our job in physics is to see things simply, to understand a great many complicated phenomena, in terms of a few simple principles.'