Zirconium Facts

Zirconium Facts
Zirconium (Zr) has an atomic number of forty. This lustrous member of the metals group easily and spontaneously ignites in air, particularly at higher than normal temperatures.
Interesting Zirconium Facts:
Martin Heinrich Klaproth discovered zirconium in Berlin in 1789.
The name zirconium comes from the Arabic work for "gold color," which is zargun.
This gold-colored gemstone was one of the compounds of zirconium, ZrSiO4.
Several zirconium-rich minerals, including jargon and hyacinth, have been in use since biblical times and are mentioned in the Bible.
In 1914, pure zirconium was produced by Jon Jacob Berzlius.
The Kroll method is used to isolate zirconium from a variety of mineral sources.
Typically, magnesium is removed and leaves a sample of zirconium which is refined by heating.
Zirconium is a transition metal with a greyish white color.
There are five naturally occurring isotopes of zirconium.
Only three of those five isotopes are stable.
The fourth semi-stable isotope, Zr-94, has such a high half-life (100 quintillion years) that is considered stable.
Powdered zirconium is incredibly flammable.
However, it has a melting point of 1855 degrees Celsius, or 3371 degrees Fahrenheit.
Below a certain temperature, alloys of zirconium with zinc become magnetic.
There are twenty-eight synthetic zirconium isotopes.
Because of the way that zirconium reacts with water, it is not found in nature in its metallic form.
The most abundant sources of usable zirconium are Australia and South Africa.
The global mining industry extracts and refines about 900,000 tons of zirconium each year.
It is found in over 140 minerals.
Zirconium is believed to be present in the Sun and in many meteorites.
Moon rock samples retrieved by NASA's Apollo missions found zirconium to be present in lunar rock.
Zirconium is often produced as a derivative of titanium mining.
Zircon-rich sand is another source of the material for industry.
Zirconium is not believed to play a part in living organisms.
Currently, it is being tested in a new type of cancer detecting PET scans.

Related Links:
Periodic Table Facts
Animals Facts