Vanadium is a chemical element with the atomic number 23 and the chemical symbol V. This post will tell you who discovered vanadium and then list a few facts about vanadium that you probably don’t know!
Who discovered vanadium?
Vanadium was discovered in 1801 by Spanish-born Mexican Andreas Manuel del Rio. Del Rio was a mineralogist who extracted the metal from brown lead ore he found (later renamed vanadinite). However, other scientists at the time told him that he had not found a new element and del Rio retracted his claims. Vanadium was rediscovered in 1831 by Swedish chemist Nils Gabriel Sefstrom. Later in 1831, is was found that Andreas Manuel del Rio had, in fact, discovered vanadium 30 years earlier!
Interesting facts about vanadium
- Sefstrom came up with the name vanadium. He wanted a name beginning with V as no other element had a name starting with that letter. Therefore, he named the element after Vanadis, a beauty and fertility goddess.
- Vanadium is created when stars go supernova by the r-process.
- There is only one stable form of vanadium. There is also one naturally occurring radioisotope of vanadium.
- Compounds of vanadium are very toxic to humans and animals.
- Vanadium ions turn different colors depending on the oxidation state. They can be lilac (+2), green (+3), blue (+4) and yellow (+5).