Find at the crash site. - The idea is implemented. - The goddess does not respond to the knock. - An annoying bug. - While wöhler was sick. - "I was a real ass... ". - Forty years later. - Fabulous price. - In the sky-the moon." - Unusual oil. - Ore from Venus? - The secret of vigor. - Gun up in the air. - Attack and defense. - "Diplomats" cunning. - In The Far North. - Ink rainbow. - No worse than platinum. - Pig satisfied. - Maritime collectors. - Plantations on the sea bottom. - Deeds of days long gone. - How to predict the future?
"If it were not for vanadium - no my car". These words belong to the automobile Henry Ford. In 1905, he attended a large car races. As often happens at such events, it was not without disaster. After some time Ford came to the place where the tragedy took place, and picked up where the chip parts one of the two crashed cars French. It was a part of the valve stem. It would seem, the item as the item, but experienced in these matters Ford drew attention to its small size, and he decided to expose the metal to the test. Intuition did not fail Ford: steel proved to be very durable and solid. From the laboratory, where he was sent to the chip for chemical analysis, reported that the metal contains vanadium.
The idea of widespread use of such steel in the manufacture of cars entirely captured by Ford. Why: because if it will be able to realize the car will become much easier; this will save a lot of metal, and the machine can be sold at a lower price. So, will dramatically increase the number of customers, and consequently, will increase its own profits. And Ford began to implement its ideas. Many difficulties he had to overcome before the goal was achieved. When a few years after the races, unexpectedly played in the history of the automotive industry an important role in the French Department of trade and industry has conducted tests of individual components of the new Ford cars, it became clear that the American steel on all indicators is far superior to the French.
What is vanadium responsible for a revolution in the automotive industry? This is how the history of the discovery of vanadium famous Swedish chemist, Berzelius: "In the long ago days in the far North lived VANADIS, beautiful and loved by all the goddess. One day someone knocked on her door. Goddess conveniently sat in the chair and thought: "Let him knock again." But the knocking stopped, and someone walked away from the door. The goddess wondered, who is this modest and uncertain visitor? She opened the window and looked outside. It was one of wöhler, who quickly walked away from her Palace.
After a few days again she heard someone knocking at her, but this time knocking persistently continued until, until she got up and opened the door. Before her stood a young handsome Nils Sefstrom. Very soon they fell in love with each other, and they had a son named vanadium. This is the name of the new metal, which was opened in 1830 by the Swedish physicist and chemist Niels Setstream".
In this story there is inaccuracy. The first one knocked on the bathroom goddess VANADIS, was not a German chemist Friedrich wöhler, a Mexican chemist and mineralogist Andrew Manuel del Rio. Long before wöhler's, in 1801, studying the brown lead ore Mexico, del Rio discovered that there is an unknown at the time the metal. Compounds of this metal were painted in various colours, so the scientist named the new element "pancratium", meaning "servetnyk"and later changed it name to "aritrary", which means "red".
However, to confirm your opening of del Rio could not. Moreover, in 1802 he came to the erroneous conclusion that a new item is an open shortly before chrome. Was close to success and wöhler, who led the research the same Mexican ores, but he was interrupted... hydrogen fluoride. In the midst of a scientist is poisoned by this gas and I had a few months to spend in bed. Recovering, wöhler not immediately returned to his experiments with lead ore. This gave Berzelius occasion to reproach him that he was too timid knocking at the door of the goddess VANADIS.
While wöhler was sick, and he took the second birth of vanadium. This time at the cradle of the newborn was a disciple of Berzelius Swedish scientist Nils Gabriel Sefstrom. At that time in Sweden began to develop metallurgy. In different parts of the country appeared factories. And that's what it was noticed that the metal smelted from iron ore some fields, was fragile, at the same time as other ores produced a very ductile metal. How can we explain this difference? Sefstrom decided to find the answer to this question.
Investigating the chemical composition of the ores which was smelted metal high quality, scientist after many experiments have proved that these ores contain a new element, and it is one which in its time was found del Rio and mistaken them for chrome. On the advice of Berzelius new metal was named vanadium, and later became known as vanadium.
Either del Rio or wöhler's not destined to become the "godfathers" of the new element, although they were on the outskirts of the opening. After the success of Cepstrum wöhler wrote to his friend: "I was a real ass that overlooked a new item in the brown lead ore, and rights was Berzelius when it is not without irony laughed at how poorly and weak, without perseverance I knocked at the house of the goddess VANADIS".
For many years nobody has been able to allocate vanadium in its pure form. Only in 1869, the English chemist Henry Roscoe managed to get clean metal vanadium. However, clean it could be considered only for those times, because it contained more than 4% of impurities. Meanwhile, even small impurities dramatically change the properties of the element. Pure vanadium - silver-metal gray, high plasticity,is it possible to forge. The most insignificant amounts of impurities, particularly nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, make the metal brittle and hard, reluctant to be treated. To obtain pure vanadium for a long time could not because of his extraordinary activity at high temperatures: it was not possible to find a material for the crucible, which would not dissolve the vanadium and pollute its smelting. Then the scientists took a different course: they developed an electrolytic method for the refining of vanadium to 99.99%purity. Needless to say, 4 and 0.01 % - the difference is significant.
Decades vanadium not found wide industrial application. So, in the beginning of our century worldwide annually produced a few tons of vanadium. Yes and the price was fabulous: 50 thousand gold roubles per 1 kilogram!
And scanty production of vanadium, and the crazy price it was explained simply. Despite the fact that the crust contains many of the vanadium - about a thousand times more than silver, its accumulation on the earth there are extremely rare (which is why the vanadium and belongs to the rare metals). Ore containing 1% vanadium, is extremely rich; industrial processing is subjected to even those ores that contain only 0.1% of this valuable and scarce item.
One of the largest vanadium deposits in the mountains of Peru, at an altitude of 4700 meters above sea level. Here in the sky-the moon, for many years produced rich in vanadium mineral patronic that nowhere else on Earth is not found. And more recently in the North-Eastern coast of the Caspian sea, on the Buzachi Peninsula, began commercial production of oil with a high content of vanadium. The task of geologists is to develop an effective technology for the extraction of this valuable element of the oil "ore".
Interestingly, in falling to the earth, meteorites vanadium content two to three times more than in the earth's crust. Judging by the fact that in the spectrum of the Sun you can easily find lines inherent in the atoms of vanadium, solar matter is also richer in this element than our planet. Maybe someday arrive at the metallurgical plant party rich in vanadium ore, for example, from Mars or Venus will be treated as a normal transport operation, but earthlings to rely only on their own resources.
The difficulty of extracting vanadium from ores and was the reason that this metal is so long could not find a job. However, the rapid evolution of equipment soon widely opened to the vanadium door in the industrial world. The ability of this element to give a have become most valuable properties determined his fate, his line - vanadium begins to play the role of "vitamin" for steel.
Minor addition of vanadium (per cent) makes the fine-grained steel, giving it more elasticity, high strength. This steel is easier transfers shock and bending, harder resists abrasion, better resists tearing. And it was these qualities in desperate need of car parts! That is why such important parts car as the motor, valve springs, leaf springs, axles, shafts, gears made from tireless vanadium steel. That's why it's so highly praised the role of vanadium Henry Ford. It is no coincidence academician A.E. Fersman said about this item: "fabulous...the forces that he gives iron and steel, arming their hardness and strength, good toughness and flexibility, indestructibility, necessary for the axis of the vehicle.
During the first world war a sensation caused created by the French engineers of the aircraft, which was not armed with a machine gun, as usual, and cannon, terrifying German pilots. But how managed to put a gun on the plane? Because the capacity of the then "stacks" was very small. It turned out that gun helped get on the plane... vanadium. French aircraft guns were made of vanadium steel. With a relatively small mass they had excellent strength characteristics, allowing a devastating fire on German aircraft.
After that vanadium steel began to be used for the manufacture of the soldiers ' helmets. Relatively lightweight helmet made of thin but strong steel securely protected its wearer from bullets and shrapnel grenades. The armor was required and to protect the artillery workers from a sniper bullet shooting. For this purpose, in Sheffield in those years made armor steel that contains a lot of silicon and Nickel. Unfortunately, when the test bullet was easily sewn plates of this metal. Then it was decided to try a steel containing only 0.2% vanadium. The success exceeded all expectations: steel withstood the most difficult exam on the strength in 99 cases out of 100!
So the vanadium began to serve not only the attack, but the defense. American, French, British firms were willingly used vanadium steel for a variety of purposes. But quite confusing at first glance the position of German metallurgists, which has always been considered the great experts in these matters: they are very skeptical treated vanadium as alloying element and virtually abandoned the use of vanadium steel. One of the German factories gave even a categorical conclusion that doing its smelting makes no sense. It seemed paradoxical.
Soon, however, all became clear: because the Germans did not have its own vanadium ores, they were not interested in the price of vanadium in the world market has grown along with the demand for it; that's why they tried to slow down the introduction of vanadium steel. They conducted an intensive search for elements that can have the same effect on the steel, such as vanadium, but soon became convinced that it is indispensable. It failed attempts steel "diplomats" to discredit vanadium steel and its production continued to grow from year to year.
Exactly vanadium steel helps to successfully serve in the harsh conditions of the Far North and Siberia: as it turned out, supplementation of vanadium and nitrogen is just a hundredth of a percent - dramatically increase gladstonos steel used for pipelines, machinery, drilling rigs. Any other steel withstands the Northern cold and becomes brittle as glass. And vanadium steel invulnerable, even at 60-degree frost.
Aviation, rail transport, electrical engineering, radio engineering, defense industry, it is difficult to list all areas of modern industry, where today use steel containing vanadium. The services of vanadium and is cast from high-quality vanadium cast iron piston rings, moulds, mill rolls, dies for cold forming.
But vanadium is working not only as a metal-vitamin. Salts of this element - green, yellow, red, black, Golden (remember the name that was given element del Rio: "panchami" - colorful - with success are used in the production of paints and special ink, glass and ceramic industries. By the way, with the production of pottery and began vanadium their practice soon after was discovered by Softcream. Porcelain and pottery using vanadium compounds was covered with a Golden glaze and glass stained in green or blue color.
In 1842, an outstanding Russian chemist NN. Zinin managed to get aniline. It has served as a powerful impetus for the development of dye production. And here vanadium came to the court: was that one gram of oxide of pentavalent vanadium enough to make 200 pounds colorless salt of aniline in a strong dye - black aniline.
Not without vanadium chemistry and in our days: its oxide is an excellent catalyst in the production of sulfuric acid, which is called "the bread of chemistry". For many years in this role were platinized asbestos, i.e. asbestos coated with a powder of platinum. But, first, such an accelerator reaction was very expensive, and secondly, quite unstable: he often refused to work due to "poisoning" of the various gaseous impurities. That's why when I was offered the technology of production of sulfuric acid using as a catalyst of vanadium compounds, employees of the plant, without hesitation parted with platinized asbestos. The miraculous properties of vanadium oxide are also used in oil cracking, upon receipt of many complex organic compounds.
Advantages of vanadium appreciated... even pigs. In Argentina were experiments on the introduction to their diet of this element. And what was it? Markedly increased appetite pigs, they quickly rose in the waist.
American scientists from the laboratory of the hospital in Pong beach investigated the influence of vanadium on the growth of rats. Experimental animals whose diet was completely devoid of this element, began to grow twice slower than their "girlfriends" from the control group who received normal food. But once you enter into the food a little vanadium - speed growth of rats literally within a few days was back to normal.
Apparently, vanadium necessary for the activity of many living tissues: it is found in eggs, meat chickens, cow's milk, liver of animals and even in human brain.
Interestingly, some marine plants and animals - the sea cucumbers, ascidians, sea urchins - "collect" vanadium out some unknown person by way of the environment. Some scientists believe that this group of living organisms vanadium performs the same function as the iron in the blood of man and the higher animals, which helps it to absorb oxygen, or, figuratively speaking, to breathe. Other scientists believe that the vanadium necessary for the inhabitants of the seabed is not for breathing, and for food. One of these scientists rights, will show further research. So far managed to establish that in the blood holothurians contains a lot of vanadium, and the separate species of ascidians concentration of this element in the blood in billions of times higher than its content in sea water. These piggy vanadium! Naturally, scientists are interested in the opportunity to produce vanadium with the inhabitants of the underwater Kingdom. In Japan, for example, whole kilometers of sea coast is occupied by plantations of ascidians. The ascidians very prolific: per square meter blue plantations take up to 150 kilograms of these animals. After harvest live vanadium "ore" is sent to a special laboratory, where she adapted to industrial metal. Recently in the press it was reported that Japanese steelmakers have already smelted steel, in which the alloying element is vanadium extracted from the ascidians. There are "collectors" of vanadium and on land: one of them is familiar to everyone; it is poisonous mushroom white grebe. Indifferent to him, and some types of mold that cannot grow in the absence of vanadium. Such plants which have the ability to accumulate in a particular element are called in science bioconcentration. Often they greatly assist geologists, acting as a sort of indicator when searching for some ores of precious metals.
In 1971 the Soviet paleobotanic found in the Tien Shan traces of the unknown science of plants (called mineria), which is a single celled algae that live on the Earth... one and a half billion years ago. "Excuse me, but what does this finding have for vanadium?" - has the right to ask the reader. It turns out that direct: scientists believe that minneriya at one time played an important role in shaping the planet's atmosphere, the formation of clusters in the earth's crust such chemical elements as vanadium and uranium.
...We talked about the past and present of vanadium. Well, what will happen to him tomorrow? As further will be the fate of this remarkable metal?
Not having fantastic "time machine", it is hardly possible to accurately predict the future of vanadium, but knowing its valuable properties - significant mechanical resistance, high corrosion resistance, high melting point lower than that of iron, the density, it is reasonable to assume that the vanadium will be an excellent structural material. But first he must learn to take the vanadium in large quantities (much larger than it is now!) from nature, which carefully preserves it in its inexhaustible storehouse.