Vanadium - The Chameleon Metal!

Vanadium / Chemistry


So, today I will tell you about such a metal as vanadium.
Vanadium is a transition metal that is located in the fifth group of the periodic table of chemical elements.
One of the fascinating things is that in air vanadium gets covered with a beautiful film of vanadium oxides, which gives the metal a very beautiful multicolored look.
Different colors can be seen due to the different thickness of the oxide film all around, because of that light in different areas is absorbed and reflected at different wavelengths.
Pieces of vanadium look very beautifully.
However, the oxide film on the vanadium surface can be dissolved with nitric acid, after which the silver surface of this metal can be seen.
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So, today I will tell you about such a metal as vanadium.

Vanadium is a transition metal that is located in the fifth group of the periodic table of chemical elements.

One of the fascinating things is that in air vanadium gets covered with a beautiful film of vanadium oxides, which gives the metal a very beautiful multicolored look.

Different colors can be seen due to the different thickness of the oxide film all around, because of that light in different areas is absorbed and reflected at different wavelengths.

Pieces of vanadium look very beautifully.

However, the oxide film on the vanadium surface can be dissolved with nitric acid, after which the silver surface of this metal can be seen.

Density wise vanadium is quite light, from a chemical point of view, this metal is very stable in air and does not react with sulfuric or hydrochloric acid.

If the non-oxidized vanadium crystals are heated in air, they will be covered with an oxide film, also giving it a multicolored appearance.

Vanadium is readily soluble in nitric acid, forming vanadyl chloride, that has a blue color, and nitric oxide. Over time, the reaction is accelerated due to the heating of the mixture and effervesces, nitrogen dioxide - a very dangerous gas - starts to escape the solution. However, the most interesting property of vanadium is that with its compounds it is possible to carry out a so-called chameleon reaction.

For this reaction, let’s take a little vanadate of ammonium, a substance used as a catalyst in organic synthesis. We’ll add 15% of hydrochloric acid to vanadate ammonium, and while vanadium oxides, the so-called polyvanadates are formed in the solution. By the way, vanadium oxide 5 is used as an effective catalyst in the production of sulfuric acid. Initially, the liquid in the test tube is green. To start the reaction, we’ll throw a few zinc granules into the test tube.

The hydrogen evolution reaction begins, in which atomic hydrogen is formed that has the ability to efficiently give back an electron and restore other compounds.

Over time, the color of the solution changes to blue, due to hydrogen restoring vanadium to oxidation state plus four. Further, the solution gradually acquires a green color due to the addition of one more electron by the vanadium atom. At the end, after some time the solution becomes violet, since vanadium has taken all the electrons from the atomic hydrogen, while restoring itself to bivalent vanadium.

I decided to conduct another experiment, where I would add an alkali, sodium hydroxide to the chloride of bivalent vanadium. I was amazed by the result, to say the least, it turned out to be some sort of cosmos within a test tube, let me go vanadium!

It looks very fascinating with macro as well. Vanadium compounds are quite toxic, but there are organisms that are practically filled with vanadium, for example, fly agarics and from the sea life - shells. Scientists are still wrecking their heads as to why in these organisms there is so much vanadium-containing protein, amavadine.

Nowadays, the metal vanadium is mainly used as a component of very strong steels.

The addition of small amounts of vanadium to steel makes it much stronger and harder, often from such steel, wrenches and surgical instruments are made.

Now you have learned a little bit more about one of the metals, if you want the series with the elements to continue, put some likes and subscribe to my channel to find a lot more new and interesting. By the way, I want to tell you that we have updated our website, which now contains the table of elements or rather is a table of elements.

With this updated design you can now conveniently and quickly view each and every video about the elements, a link to the site will be in the description.

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