Molybdenum does not occur naturally in the the earth’s crust instead bring bonded in ores. As a free element it is a silvery metal and has the sixth highest melting point of any element. It forms hard and stable carbides when bonded to carbon in alloys and has uses in the production of steel. Molybednite the ore from which it is extracted was initially mistaken for graphite due to its similar appearance. Molybdenum takes its name from the Ancient Greek ‘Molybdos’ which means lead. It is rumoured that Molybdenum was first alloyed with steel in Japan in the 14th Century but no evidence of this has been recovered. It was first discovered in 1754 by Bengt Andersson Qvist but only isolated in 1781 by Peter Jacob Hjelm who used carbon and linseed oil to isolate the element. It is located in Group 6 as a Transition metal. It has a melting point of 2623°c and a boiling point of 4639°c.
Carl Wilhelm Scheele