Zirconium is named after the mineral Zircon which draws its name from the Persian ‘zargun’ which means gold like. Zirconium was mentioned in biblical writings but it was not until 1789 when Martin Heinrich Klaproth analysed a sample from Sri Lanka identifying an element he called Zirkonerde. It was Humphrey Davy who tried to isolate Zirconium using electrolysis in 1808 but it was in 1824when Jons Jacob Berzelius heated Zirconium Fluoride with iron to isolate the Zirconium. Zirconium is used to produce surgical equipment due to its high resistance and is used in nuclear fuel supplies. It is located in Group 4 as a Transition metal. It has a melting point of 1855°c and a boiling point of 4377°c.
Used in alloys such as zircaloy which is used in nuclear applications since it does not readily absorb neutrons. Also baddeleyite is used in lab crucibles. Used in high-performance pumps and valves. Clear zircon (ZrSiO4) is a popular gemstone.
Found in many minerals such as zircon and baddeleyite.