Stable isotopes of zirconium available from ISOFLEX
|Isotope||Z(p)||N(n)||Atomic Mass||Natural Abundance||Enrichment Level||Chemical Form|
Zirconium was discovered in 1789 by Martin Heinrich Klaproth. Its name originates with the Arabic word zargun, meaning “gold color.”
Zirconium may exist as a hard, lustrous, silvery-gray, crystalline scale or as a bluish-black amorphous powder. It is corrosion-resistant. It starts as a close-packed hexagonal lattice and transforms to a body-centered cubic structure at 865 ºC. It is soluble in hot, very concentrated acids and aqua regia and is insoluble in water and cold acids. It exhibits quadrivalency in most of its compounds, although divalent and trivalent compounds also exist.
Solid metal zirconium is stable in air at ordinary temperatures, but it reacts slowly at 200 ºC. The reaction is more rapid at high temperatures. Reactions with hydrogen occur at temperatures of 300-1000 ºC, forming ZrH2, a brittle dihydride. Zirconium combines with halogens at high temperatures, forming tetrahalides. Reactions occur in the range of 200-400 ºC. Solid tetrahalides sublime above 300 ºC. Although stable to most acids, the metal is attacked by concentrated hydrochloric and sulfuric acids under boiling conditions or in the presence of aqua regia or hydrofluoric acid. The metal is stable in organic acids under all conditions.
The most important applications of zirconium involve its alloy, Zircaloy, which offers excellent mechanical and heat-transfer properties and great resistance to corrosion and chemical attack. Other uses are as an ingredient of explosive mixtures; as a “getter” in vacuum tubes; in making flash bulb, flash powder and lamp filaments; in rayon spinnerets; and in surgical appliances.
A suspected carcinogen, zirconium is not permitted in cosmetics (per the United States Food and Drug Administration). It is flammable and explosive in the form of dust, powder, borings or shavings.
Properties of Zirconium
|Standard state||Solid at 298 °K|
|CAS Registry ID||7440-67-7|
|Group in periodic table||4|
|Period in periodic table||5|
|Block in periodic table||d-block|
|Melting point||1852 °C|
|Boiling point||4377 °C|
|Vaporization point||4377 ºC|
|Thermal conductivity||22.7 W/(m·K) at 298.2 °K|
|Electrical resistivity||40.0 µΩ·cm at 20 °C|
|Specific heat||0.27 kJ/kg K|
|Heat of vaporization||580 kJ·mol-1|
|Heat of fusion||21 kJ·mol-1|
|Density of liquid||5.8 g/cm3 at 1852 °C|
|Density of solid||6.51 g/cm3|
|Atomic radius||1.60 Å|
|Ionic radius||Zr4+ in crystal: 0.84 Å (coordination number 8)|
|Oxidation states||+2, +3, +4|