A silvery-gray metal that is actually extracted as a by-product of copper and tungsten mining- Molybdenum is one of the rarest metals on earth.
This rare transition metal is highly resistant to heat. So much so that only tungsten and tantalum have higher melting and boiling points as compared to molybdenum.
However, pure molybdenum is rarely used in any of the industrial applications, other than as catalysts.
In this article, you will find some of the most popular compounds and industrial applications of Molybdenum
Transition metals, as a whole, are preferably used in catalytic reactions. And molybdenum is one of the most widely used ones amongst its family.
In the petroleum industry, a number of reactions are carried out for the separation of petrol, diesel, kerosene, and many other petroleum products. For example, molybdenum trioxide, a green-yellow powder is used for removing sulfur and nitrogenous products from crude oil. Besides, sulfides of molybdenum are also used in manufacturing lubricants.
As already mentioned, transition metals are mostly used as catalysts, this is one of the major applications for molybdenum as well. Thin metal sheets are mostly used for the extraction of heavy and rare earth metals from their ores.
This rare heavy metal, unlike other members of its family, has the least toxicity. This, combined with the variable oxidation states of molybdenum makes it the perfect catalyst for extracting other heavy metals. And replacing toxic catalysts such as lead and mercury.
Due to its unusual chemical and physical behavior, this metal is also profoundly used for alloying. It is usually added to increase strength, tensile resistance, and improve the electrical and thermal resistance of alloys.
The most common Mo alloys can be found in the automobile and aerospace industries. Mufflers, radiators, engine components, and even gears are made out of Mo alloys.
A rather uncommon, but still application for this heavy metal is in pigmentation. Molybdenum is used in paints and dyes to inhibit corrosion and stabilize the color.
Ships, marine structures, airplanes, all used paints and dyes that contain Mo, for it offers excellent resistance against corrosion and peeling.
Bonus: Biological Applications
It is not known to many that Mo is also a micro-nutrient for biological processes. This makes it essentially important for the healthcare and medical industries.
Cosmetics, food supplements, preservatives, and many more such applications can be found within the biological domain. Not only for animals and humans, but this incredible metal is also used in fertilizers.
This incredible heavy metal, although is very rare and found in traces, has found several industrial applications. And in most cases, is a more sustainable and economical alternative for manufacturing processes. The more we know about this metal the more applications can be designed for it.
That being said, we still need to understand a lot many things about this metal. For example, how it can be used to replace the majority of catalysts used in chemical industries. Nevertheless, for now, the market for this heavy metal is quite interesting, already.
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