Cobalt’s surname is acquired from a German word: “kobald” which method “goblin.” This term originally came around because miners wanted to usage the cobalt ore to create copper or nickel, which failed (it produced cobalt oxide instead). The cobalt ores constantly contain arsenic, a highly toxic element, which would be released during the do the efforts to develop copper or nickel, adding to the an obstacle or trickery of taking care of this substance.

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Cobalt is the first element in team 9 that the regular table. Team 9 elements fall in ~ the larger group known as the change metals. The very first three aspects in team 9 are all hard, silver steels with high melting and also boiling points. They room all reasonably rare in the earth’s crust. Meitnerium (the fourth facet in the group) has never been uncovered in nature. It have the right to only it is in synthesized using nuclear reactors.

Atomic number: 27Symbol: CoGroup: 9Period: 4Number that Protons: 27Number of Electrons: 27Number of neutron : 32Atomic radius: 135 pmAtomic mass: 58.933Number of Isotopes: 1

Properties that Cobalt

Cobalt is a hard, shiny steel with a blue-ish tint. In nature, it is discovered as part of rock minerals. That is able to withstand high warm without melting and is resistant come corrosion, important features for numerous applications. People do require trace quantities of cobalt to survive, but cobalt is a carcinogen once consumed in large amounts. In general, cobalt and its compounds are considered slightly toxic to the skin and moderately toxic when ingested.

Cobalt is a reactive metal and also forms many different compounds. The is classified together a solid transition metal, and also because the is a transition metal, cobalt is a an excellent conductor the heat and also electricity.

Physical Properties

At room temperature and pressure, cobalt is a lustrous, hard, and also brittle metal. Miscellaneous unique around cobalt is the it is magnetic. It is just one of three naturally emerging magnetic facets (the other two space iron and nickel). This magnetic property stems from exactly how the electrons room arranged in ~ the cobalt atoms. Electrons can have among two configurations, one of two people “spin up” or “spin down.” when electrons space paired in one orbital, they space paired v one spin increase electron and also one spin under electron (following the Pauli exclusion principal), canceling out any kind of magnetic moment. However, in the situation of cobalt, it has three unpaired electron which every share the exact same configuration (following Hund’s rule), therefore the magnetic areas of this unpaired electrons sign up with together to provide an as whole magnetic atom. Additionally, cobalt maintain its magnetic residential or commercial property to the highest temperature of every magnetic facets (1115 °C). The greater the temperature, the much more likely products are to shed their magnetic properties since the high temperature provides power for the electron to move around and readjust configurations, disrupting the magnetic field.

Melting Point: 1495 °C = 2723 °F = 1768 KBoiling Point: 2927 °C = 5301 °F = 3200 KDensity: 8.86 g cm-3Phase in ~ Room Temperature: solid

Chemical Properties

Cobalt is a middle reactive metal. In wait or oxygen environment, that is oxidized, forming a slim layer the cobalt oxide on the surface of the metal. This great serves as a protection or passivation great that stays clear of further oxidation or corrosion. Favor all change metals, cobalt is a good conductor that heat and electricity due to the capacity of the valence electron to move freely in between atoms. A top quality of all change metals is that they can type bonds making use of electrons from much more than among their electron shells. They space able to carry out so due to the fact that an external shell of electrons starts to fill before the previous shell is completely full. In cobalt, because that example, over there are already two electron in the 4s orbital once the 3d orbital is not yet complete (it still demands three an ext electrons to it is in full).

Oxidation States: 3, 2, 0, -1Specific Heat: 421 J/kg*KElectronegativity: 1.88 (Pauling scale)Heat of Fusion: 16.2 kJ/molHeat of Vaporization: 375 kJ/mol Electron Configuration: 3d74s2


Only one steady isotope that cobalt exists: 59Co. Therefore, 59Co has a herbal abundance that 100%. There space 22 various other radioactive isotope of cobalt the exist. That those, numerous have fairly long half-lives. 60Co is the most stable with a half-life that 5.27 years. 56Co, 57Co, and 58Co have actually half-lives the 77.27 days, 271.8 days, and 70.86 days, respectively. Many of the other isotopes have half-lives that are shorter than one second. 60Co is provided for cancer treatment because its gamma beam radiation can be used to target tumors, and it is additionally used in some nations to preserve food.

Alloys and also Allotropes

Cobalt alloys are recognized for their magnetic properties, corrosion resistance, stay resistance, and also strength in ~ high temperatures. These characteristics (except the magnetic property) constitute the needs of a superalloy or high-performance alloy. Aluminum-nickel-cobalt alloys include in between 5 and 35% cobalt by weight, and also iron-cobalt alloys include 5 come 12% cobalt by weight. Cobalt is consisted of in both of these alloys to aid preserve your magnetic properties, together these alloys are called “permanent magnets.” Cobalt-based alloys are provided for turbine chisels for gas turbines, aircraft jet engines, dental prosthetics (because nickel, the metal typically used, have the right to be an allergen for some people), and also orthopedic implants. Cobalt-chromium-molybdenum alloys are supplied for hip and also knee replacements. A platinum (95%) and also cobalt alloy is offered in jewelry.

Cobalt has two allotropes, and the kind that it takes counts on temperature. Listed below 417 °C, the beta form is much more prevalent. The beta type has a close-packed hexagonal structure. Over 417 °C until the melt point, the alpha type dominates, which has a cubic structure.

Compounds of Cobalt

Several different cobalt oxides exist, each through a distinct color. Cobalt (II) oxide (CoO) is green; cobalt (III) hydroxide (Co(OH)3)) is brown; cobalt (II,III) oxide (Co3O4) is blue; and also cobalt (III) oxide is black. This compounds can be provided in assorted chemical reaction for commercial and scholastic research and commercial production. Chalcogenides like cobalt (II) sulfide (CoS2) and also cobalt (III) sulfide (Co2S3) space other well-known cobalt compounds. Cobalt acetate is used to make terephthalic acid from xylene. Terephthalic mountain is a extremely demanded industrial chemical since it is the precursor because that making polyethylene terephthalate plastic (you most likely recognize them v the pet label). Cobalt likewise reacts v halides (F, Cl, Br, I) to form various colored compounds. Vitamin B12 is in reality an organometallic compound (a link that has metal(s) bound come organic compounds) v a cobalt atom at its center. This is the just vitamin that has a steel atom. The top blue color of cobalt in pigments and pottery is actually as result of cobalt aluminate (Al2CoO4). Cobalt phosphate (Co3(PO4)2) offers a vibrant purple pigment.

Interesting Facts around Cobalt

Remember the discussion about electron spin and also its joining in magnetism? In 2010, German researcher captured, for the very first time ever, images of an electron’s rotate changing, and the atom they supplied for this extraordinary research was cobalt.For a brief duration in the 1960s, cobalt chloride was added to beer to rise the quantity of foam. However, more than 100 hefty beer drinkers skilled heart failure, and nearly half of lock died. Cobalt chloride has now been banned as a food additive through the FDA.Originally, chemists believed the trademark blue color of cobalt was actually brought about by bismuth.

Occurrence and also Abundance the Cobalt

Cobalt is required in the human body as a trace facet because it forms component of the active site because that vitamin B12. Only a very tiny amount the cobalt is necessary in the human body (~1 mg), and the abundance is 2×10-6%. On Earth, cobalt is not discovered on that own; it’s always incorporated right into rock minerals and ore deposits. Some minerals the contain cobalt include cobaltite (CoAsS), skutterudite (CoAs3), glaucodot ((Co,Fe)AsS) and also erythrite (Co3(AsO4)2 · 8(H2O)). Interestingly, cobalt, and some other change metals, are uncovered in the really deepest components of the s floor. Cobalt has actually a 0.003% variety in the earth’s crust., and, in the cosmos overall, it has wealth of 0.0003%. The democratic Republic the the Congo, China, and Zambia room the top producers the cobalt, and it is created commercially as a byproduct the nickel and also copper mining.

Uses of Cobalt

Most notable Uses in General

Aside from cobalt’s usage in alloys, the is additionally used in large amounts for paint pigments since cobalt salts provide a lively blue color (about 30% the the cobalt produced each year is used for this purpose). This attractive shade is likewise utilized for porcelain, glass, pottery, and enamels. Have you ever seen a blue glass plate, vase, or bottle? the intense shade is many thanks to cobalt. Cobalt metal’s resistance come corrosion, hardness, and also appearance do it valuable for electroplating (a method that offers an electric existing to deposit a layer of steel onto a wanted object) applications.

Most remarkable Uses in Science

Cobalt has many exciting uses in clinical research, though most involve cobalt compounds, no pure cobalt. Lithium cobalt oxide (LiCoO2) is provided in lithium-ion batteries (like those provided in cabinet phones and laptops). In fact, cobalt is therefore integral come these an effective batteries the it is additionally used in battery for electrical vehicles. It also serves as a catalyst because that several various reactions. A cobalt phosphate (CoPi) catalyst is among the finest water-splitting catalysts occurred to day that doesn’t count on valuable or noble steels (water-splitting is of good interest since hydrogen gas, a fuel, is among the products). Various other cobalt-based catalysts are supplied to revolve carbon monoxide (a dangerous chemistry if breathed in) into liquid fuels. A cobalt-molybdenum catalyst is provided to filter petroleum into liquid fuels.

Discovery the Cobalt

Cobalt has a rich history for its use in ancient glass and also ceramic objects. Indigenous Egypt to Persia to Pompeii come China, many different teams of people have made usage of cobalt’s capacity to provide rich blue color. Despite it is not recognized where the Egyptians derived cobalt, they do cobalt-colored glass as beforehand as 1550 BC. Georg Brandt is the sweden chemist that is attributed with the formal discovery of cobalt in the 1730s. He i found it a blue-ish ore from one of the mines the his family members owned, and also he performed some experiments ~ above it. However, because that years, other chemists argued that Brandt had actually not uncovered a brand-new metal and also that it was merely a mixture that iron and arsenic. Clearly, they to be eventually found to it is in wrong, but it took almost fifty years! Cobalt is the very first metal for which we recognize the discoverer. All formerly discovered and also utilized metals have no tape-recorded discoverers. Ever because the 16th century, mining that cobalt has actually been boosting in intensity because of the ever rising need of this rarely element.

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Cobalt in the Future

Because the its usage in pigments, alloys, and, primarily, batteries, cobalt is in higher demand than ever before. This has actually caused a shortage and also prices to increase considerably, and also the sectors that depend on cobalt are worried about this shortage. It has actually been said that this shortage in cobalt alone might put a halt come electric automobile production since not enough cobalt have the right to be acquired to make the batteries. Because cobalt is a byproduct that copper and also nickel mining, its production is greatly dependent top top the demand for copper and also nickel, too. The fact that the major producer that cobalt is politically unstable democratic of the Congo is a an important factor together well.

On the scientific front, researcher at the college of Massachusetts, Amherst are occurring a means to use cobalt-iron nanoparticles to “yank” bacteria (by leveraging cobalt’s at sight magnetic properties) native food in food safety experimentation applications. This research study is tho ongoing, however you can observe cobalt’s superior capacity for magnetic separation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzIUuKshu_4