Vanadium was discovered in 1801 by Spanish scientist Andres Manuel del Rio through his work with the ore vanadinite in Mexico, but it was not until 1867 when Sir Henry Roscoe of England managed to isolate Vanadium when reducing Vanadium chloride using Hydrogen. Vanadium was named by Scandinavian scientist Nils Gabriel Sefström after ‘Vanadis’ the Scandinavian goddess of beauty. Vanadium is a strong metal which is ductile and has a number of oxides. Its main use is in the production of steel where it is used to make alloys. 85% of Vanadium that is produced is used in Steel production due to its high resistance. It had its first use in the production of the first mass produced car the Model T Ford. Vanadium is not found free in the earth’s crust but exists in around 65 different ores. It is located in Group 5 and it has a melting point of 1910°c and a boiling point of 3407°c being a solid metal at room temperature.
It is mixed with other metals to make very strong and durable alloys. Vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) is used as a catalyst, dye and color-fixer.
Found in the minerals patronite (VS4), vanadinite [Pb5(VO4)3Cl], and carnotite [K2(UO2)2(VO4)2.3H2O]. Pure metal produced by heating with C and Cl to produce VCl3 which is heated with Mg in Ar atmosphere.