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Zirconium – PART 2

Zirconium

APPEARANCE AND CHARACTERISTICS

Zirconium is considered to be non-toxic. Zirconium is a strong, malleable, ductile, lustrous, grayish-white metal.
When present in compounds, zirconium exists mostly in the oxidation state IV. Its oxide (ZrO2) is white, like many of its compounds. Zirconium is generally exceptionally resistant to corrosion. It is however rapidly attacked by hydrofluoric acid, even at low concentrations. In an oxygen atmosphere, finely divided Zirconium burns with the highest known temperature for a metal flame: 4460 oC.. Exposed surfaces of zirconium form a protective oxide layer.

USES OF ZIRCONIUM

Zirconium is very poor at absorbing neutrons. It is therefore useful in nuclear energy applications such as in the cladding (outer layer) of fuel rods through which it is important that neutrons can travel easily.Zirconium is used as to make surgical instruments and is used in steel alloys as a hardening agent.As a result of its exceptional corrosion resistance, zirconium is used extensively in the chemical industry in corrosive environments where zirconium’s alloys can be found in pipes, fittings and heat exchangers. Zirconium is also used to make superconductive magnets.
Zircon (zirconium silicate, ZrSiO4) is a natural gemstone and synthetic cubic zirconia (zirconium dioxide, ZrO2) is produced as a low-cost substitute for diamond.Zirconium based catalysts are used in amination, hydrogenation, isomerization and oxidation reactions.
Lithium zirconate can be used to absorb carbon dioxide. The reaction is reversible so the carbon dioxide can be released in a location of choice and the lithium zirconate used again. This application may be useful in addressing environmental concerns about the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Source

Its chief mineral is zircon (zirconium silicate, ZrSiO4). It is produced commercially by reduction of the chloride with magnesium in the Kroll process.

THE SOURCE:

chemicool

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