Manganese like many other transition metals is not found as a free element in nature, instead bound to other elements in ores. Manganese is named after the region of Magnesia in Greece where the name is shared with the metal Magnesium. It comes from the ore Pyrolusite which was used in 1740 by the German chemist Johann Heinrich Pott. The first isolation of metallic manganese was during 1770 by Ignatius Gottfried Kaim. Manganese is used photosynthesis and is vitally important in the production of free oxygen. It is not so important in human biology. Manganese has many uses but is mainly used in the production of steel in alloying. This was first recognised in 1856 the British engineer Robert Forester Mushet used it to improve the malleability of steel. It is located in Group 7 and it has a melting point of 1246°c and a boiling point of 2061°c being a solid metal at room temperature.
Used in steel, batteries and ceramics. The steel in railroad tracks can contain as much as 1.2% manganese. It is crucial to the effectiveness of vitamin B1.
Most abundant ores are pyrolusite (MnO2), psilomelane [(Ba,H2O)2Mn5O10] and rhodochrosite (MnCO3). Pure metal produced by mixing MnO2 with powered Al and ignited in a furnace.