Cobalt

8.86
58.933
[Ar] 3d74s2
59Co
9
4
d
27
2, 8, 15, 2
760.402
Co
8.86
1495°C, 2723°F, 1768 K
2927°C, 5301°F, 3200 K
Georg Brandt
1739
7440-48-4
94547
More Information
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Uses and Properties

Image Explanation

Cobalt alloys are used in jet engines because of their stability at high temperatures. They are corrosion and wear and heat resistant, making them perfect for components in challenging area applications.

Appearance

A lustrous, silvery-blue metal. It is magnetic.

Uses



The Versatile Element: Exploring the Many Uses of Cobalt






Cobalt is a remarkable element that has found its way into a wide range of applications, thanks to its unique properties and versatility. From the vibrant blue pigments of ancient art to cutting-edge technology in modern times, cobalt's uses have evolved significantly over the centuries. In this article, we will explore the various applications of cobalt, shedding light on its significance in different industries.

 


  1. Cobalt in Alloys




Cobalt's remarkable strength and resistance to corrosion make it an essential component in various alloys. It is often used in combination with other metals to create high-strength, heat-resistant materials. Cobalt-chromium alloys, for instance, are employed in the production of aircraft engines, gas turbines, and cutting tools. These alloys can withstand high temperatures and challenging environments, ensuring the reliability and longevity of critical components.

 


  1. Cobalt in Batteries




One of the most significant modern applications of cobalt is in rechargeable batteries, especially lithium-ion batteries. Cobalt is an integral component of the cathodes in these batteries, where it enhances the overall performance by increasing energy density and stability. Cobalt's role in batteries has become increasingly important with the growing demand for electric vehicles and portable electronics. While cobalt usage in batteries has faced scrutiny due to ethical concerns related to mining practices, ongoing research aims to reduce the reliance on cobalt and make batteries more sustainable.

 


  1. Cobalt in the Medical Field




Cobalt plays a crucial role in the medical field, particularly in the production of medical implants and equipment. Cobalt-chromium alloys, known for their biocompatibility and resistance to wear, are used to manufacture artificial joints, such as hip and knee replacements. These materials are ideal for medical applications as they minimize the risk of allergic reactions and provide long-lasting solutions for patients in need of prosthetic implants.

 


  1. Cobalt in the Aerospace Industry




The aerospace industry relies on cobalt-based superalloys in the manufacturing of aircraft engine components, gas turbines, and other critical parts. These superalloys can endure extreme temperatures and stresses associated with aviation, making them indispensable for the safety and efficiency of air travel. Cobalt alloys also contribute to reducing maintenance costs and increasing the lifespan of aircraft engines, a vital consideration for the aviation industry.

 


  1. Cobalt in the Electronics Sector




Cobalt has found an essential place in the electronics sector, especially in the production of semiconductors and magnetic materials. Cobalt-based magnets, such as samarium-cobalt and neodymium-cobalt magnets, are used in electronic devices, headphones, and hard disk drives, thanks to their strong magnetic properties. Additionally, cobalt is used in the production of thin-film materials for semiconductors, contributing to the performance and miniaturization of electronic components.

 


  1. Cobalt in the Chemical Industry




Cobalt catalysts are extensively used in the chemical industry to facilitate various chemical reactions. These catalysts can promote the synthesis of important chemicals, such as petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, and plastics. Cobalt catalysis is particularly important in the production of synthetic rubber, where it helps create resilient, high-performance materials that find applications in various industries.

 


  1. Cobalt in the Art World




Cobalt has a long history in the art world, primarily due to its use in creating vivid blue pigments. Cobalt blue, made from cobalt salts, has been employed by artists for centuries to add depth and vibrancy to their works. It is still a favorite among painters, as its unique shade remains unmatched by other pigments. Cobalt-based pigments also find applications in ceramics, glass, and enamels.

 


  1. Cobalt in the Energy Sector




Cobalt is essential for the energy sector, not only for batteries but also for nuclear power. Cobalt-60, a radioactive isotope, is used in the generation of electricity in nuclear reactors. It serves as a gamma-ray source for various applications, including sterilization of medical equipment and cancer treatment.

 


  1. Cobalt in Sustainable Energy




Cobalt's importance extends to the sustainable energy sector as it is used in the production of permanent magnets for wind turbines and electric motors. These magnets play a pivotal role in harnessing wind and solar energy efficiently. As the world increasingly focuses on renewable energy sources, cobalt continues to play a significant role in achieving a cleaner, more sustainable future.

 

Conclusion


Cobalt's versatility is truly remarkable, as it finds applications in diverse industries, from aerospace to art, and from medical implants to electronics. Its unique properties, such as resistance to corrosion and high magnetic strength, have made it an indispensable element in modern technology. However, it's essential to address concerns related to ethical mining practices and explore alternative materials to reduce our reliance on cobalt while still reaping the benefits of its extraordinary properties. As technology and research advance, cobalt's role in shaping our world will likely continue to evolve, offering innovative solutions and enriching our lives in unexpected ways.

History

Cobalt, symbolized by the atomic number 27 and the chemical symbol Co, is a fascinating element with a rich history that spans centuries. From its early use as a vibrant blue pigment to its essential role in modern technology, cobalt has played a pivotal part in the development of human civilization. In this article, we will embark on a journey through time to explore the captivating history of Cobalt and its enduring significance in various industries.

 

Cobalt in Ancient Times


The history of cobalt begins with its use as a pigment, particularly the famous "Cobalt Blue" color. Ancient civilizations, such as the Egyptians and Mesopotamians, used cobalt compounds to create vivid blue ceramics and glassware. The deep, rich hue of Cobalt Blue made it a prized and sought-after color for art and pottery, giving a distinctive character to various artifacts of the time.

Cobalt was also utilized in traditional Chinese porcelain, where it played a crucial role in achieving the iconic blue and white designs. The transition from using imported cobalt minerals to local sources significantly impacted the Chinese porcelain industry, making it an essential part of Chinese culture and trade with the West.

 

Cobalt in the 18th and 19th Centuries


The 18th and 19th centuries marked significant advancements in the understanding and utilization of cobalt compounds. Swedish chemist Georg Brandt is credited with isolating and identifying cobalt as a distinct element in 1735. This discovery laid the foundation for the systematic study of cobalt's properties and potential applications.

Cobalt was widely used in the production of durable blue pigments, but it also found its place in a growing number of other industries. In the 19th century, cobalt compounds were employed in the textile industry as a dye. Cobalt dyes were prized for their ability to produce vibrant and colorfast shades, making them a valuable addition to the textile manufacturing process.

Cobalt's role in the glass industry also expanded during this period. Cobalt oxide, with its ability to create striking blue hues in glass, was used to craft decorative glassware, stained glass windows, and glass ornaments. The presence of Cobalt Blue in art and architecture was a testament to the element's enduring appeal.

 

Cobalt in Modern Times


As the 20th century dawned, cobalt's applications continued to diversify, and it became increasingly vital in various industries. One of the most notable developments was the use of cobalt in the field of metallurgy, particularly in the creation of superalloys. Cobalt-chromium alloys became indispensable in aviation and the aerospace industry, where they were employed in aircraft engines and gas turbines.

The healthcare sector also embraced cobalt, using it to manufacture prosthetic implants and medical equipment. Cobalt-chromium alloys offered excellent biocompatibility and resistance to wear, making them ideal for use in artificial joints, such as hip and knee replacements.

Cobalt's role in the energy sector expanded significantly with the rise of nuclear power. Cobalt-60, a radioactive isotope, became essential in the generation of electricity in nuclear reactors. It was used not only in power generation but also in various applications, including sterilizing medical equipment and treating cancer.

However, perhaps the most significant modern application of cobalt is in rechargeable batteries, particularly lithium-ion batteries. Cobalt plays a crucial role in the cathodes of these batteries, enhancing their energy density and stability. With the advent of electric vehicles and portable electronics, the demand for cobalt in batteries has skyrocketed.

 

Challenges and Concerns


While cobalt's historical significance is undeniable, the contemporary cobalt industry faces challenges related to ethical mining practices and environmental impact. A significant portion of the world's cobalt supply comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where issues such as child labor and unsafe mining practices have raised ethical concerns.

Efforts are underway to address these concerns and promote responsible mining practices. Companies and organizations are working to improve the supply chain transparency and reduce the reliance on problematic sources. The development of recycling methods and the exploration of alternative materials are also aimed at mitigating the environmental and ethical issues associated with cobalt mining.

 

The history of Cobalt is a captivating journey that reflects the evolution of human civilization and technological progress. From its use as a cherished blue pigment in ancient art and ceramics to its crucial role in modern aerospace, healthcare, and energy industries, cobalt has remained a valuable and irreplaceable element.

As we continue to rely on cobalt in an ever-expanding range of applications, it is imperative to address the ethical and environmental challenges associated with its extraction and use. The history of cobalt serves as a reminder of the importance of responsible sourcing and the development of sustainable practices to ensure that the legacy of this remarkable element is one of progress, innovation, and social responsibility.

Atomic Data

Atomic Radiues, Non-bonded (A): 2.00
Electron Affinity (kJ mol-1): 63.873
Covalent Radiues (A): 1.18
Electronegativity (Pauling Scale): 1.88
Ionisation Energies (kJ mol-1) 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th
760.402 1648.356 3232.3 4949.7 7670.6 9842 12437 15225.4

Oxidation States and Isotopes

Common oxidation states 1
Isotope Atomic Mass Natural Abundance Half Life Mode of Decay
59Co 58.933 100 - -

Supply Risk

Relative Supply Risk: 7.6
Crustal Abundance (ppm): 26.6
Recycle Rate (%): >30
Production Conc.(%) : 67
Top 3 Producers:
1) DRC
2) China
3) Zambia
Top 3 Reserve Holders:
1) DRC
2) Australia
3) Cuba
Substitutability: Medium
Political Stability of Top Producer: 2.8
Political Stability of Top Reserve Holder: 2.8

Pressure and Temperature Data

Specific Heat Capacity: 421
Shear Modulus: Unknown
Young Modulus: Unknown
Bulk Modulus: Unknown
Pressure 400k Pressure 600k Pressure 800k Pressure 1000k Pressure 1200k Pressure 1400k Pressure 1600k Pressure 1800k Pressure 2000k Pressure 2200k Pressure 2400k
- - - 2.09 x 10-10 1.00 x 10-6 0.000419 0.0379 1.15 16 - Unknown

Podcast

Transcript :



Cobalt is one of the most essential elements in the human body. The development of red blood cells and cyanocobaltamine, a nutrition for the neurological system, both rely on the trace element. It's also crucially involved in the DNA synthesis process.

During the first decade of the twentieth century, Cobalt, Ontario, was a boomtown. With a population of several thousand, it was one of Canada's early towns of note. Its mines fueled a boom in mining in northern Ontario. It was first discovered in 1735 by the Swedish chemist Georg Brandt.

The history of Cobalt is not a happy one. From its beginnings as a poor man's mining camp to its environmental degradation, it is clear that Cobalt is not the ideal community for today's residents. However, the town still bears some signs of its pioneer heyday.

During the early 1900s, mining was done by horse and buggy. Word of the area's potential gold and cobalt deposits spread, drawing in prospectors. But the area was also unprepared for the influx of prospectors.

A typhoid outbreak in 1909 killed 111 people. Despite this, a silver vein led to further exploration of the Cobalt area.

The last commercial nickel mine in Cobalt lasted 10 years. It resulted in the largest excavations on the site.

Some people in Cobalt think they'll never find another community just like theirs. Fortunately, remnants of the town's prosperity can be found in local museums.

The first prospector to the area may have been attracted by the reports of cobalt. In fact, a geology professor at the University of Connecticut has taken his students to the remnants of old mines in Cobalt.

In the early days of the boom, Cobalt had its own stock exchange and banks. But it wasn't prepared for the rush of prospectors looking for fortunes.

The town's first prospectors probably came to Cobalt looking for gold. But reports of cobalt and silver soon caught their attention.

The next year, James Mckinley discovered a silver vein. He and Ernest Darragh sent samples to a Montreal assayer. The assay confirmed native silver at 4,000 ounces per ton. The demand for Cobalt and silver had officially begun.

Many people who were not prospectors made very wealthy in the Cobalt mines. The town had its own bank and theaters.

Cobalt is an element that occurs naturally in small amounts in the Earth's crust and stellar atmospheres, Cobalt is a characteristic ingredient of meteoric iron. In addition, it occurs in the oceans and in a small amount in native nickel-iron. The primary reserves of cobalt in the Earth's crust are estimated to be around 25 million tons.

In order to make a good quality cobalt nanoparticle, researchers must first develop a simple method for its production. A common stabilizing agent for cobalt nanoparticles is oleic acid. This type of stabilizing agent is also called a capping agent.

This stabilizing agent adsorbed on the surface of the nanoparticles by non-covalent bonds. This allows the nanoparticles to be more stable and prevents them from aggregating. The element is produced naturally as the isotope cobalt-59. Since the economic viability of these mines depends on the supply of cobalt, the occurrence and production of this metal are highly dependent on the economic conditions of these two minerals.

It's a multi-talented material, with rigidity, corrosive resilience, and magnetic characteristics among its many attributes. Cobalt is a highly ferromagnetic metal and a specific gravity of 8,9. It has a melting point of 1490ºC, a boiling point of 2927ºC, and a half-life of 5.3 years. In addition, cobalt is a multivalent metal. This property makes it especially useful for reactions with multiple bonds.

There are two oxidation states of cobalt. In the +3 oxidation state, it is stable in water. Because of this, Cobalt is also referred to as a complex ion in certain circles. However, this element is also a readily oxidized substance by air.

The +2 oxidation state is not stable. Cobalt is usually formed in the presence of an electron-donor ligand. This ligand strongly stabilizes the cobalt ions in solution.

Additionally, it maintains a very high degree of stability even when heated. It is a ferrites metals, and it can withstand high temperatures without losing its magnetic characteristics. Cobalt is a rare metal. This element is mined from various rock types. In most cases, its extraction occurs as a by-product of the mining of copper or iron. After that, it is combined with a variety of other components to produce alloys.

Cobalt has been used by humans for thousands of years. During the 1800s, it was used as a blue dye. It is also used in the production of high-strength and wear-resistant alloys, as well as for corrosion-resistant materials in a variety of industries. This element is also a key ingredient in lithium-ion batteries.

In addition, cobalt plays a vital role in injury imaging in hospitals. It also plays an important role in the production of high-energy gamma rays.

Until the early 20th century, the primary use of cobalt was in the production of cobalt oxides, such as cobalt blue. In modern times, the demand has shifted to chemical applications. It is used in magnet alloys, superalloys, and corrosion-resistant alloys. Cobalt is also an important chemical for rechargeable batteries. This element is an important component of battery electrodes, and in magnetic iron oxides. Cobalt is used in a wide variety of industries, including those dealing with paint and ceramics, in addition to its more well-known usage in battery production. It is also a catalyst in the production of petroleum and polyester. In addition to its chemical and biological uses, this element is also used in radioactive tracers and in high-energy gamma ray production. Furthermore, it has use in magnetic recording medium. Colorants and dyes containing cobalt are also manufactured. When applied to biological systems, it acts as an antibacterial. As such, Cobalt is required for the health of blood cells, nerve cells, and other animals.

However, the effects of excessive exposure to cobalt can be harmful. It can also be toxic to tissues. Therefore, it is important to use green methods for material synthesis.

References


  • W. M. Haynes, ed., CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, CRC Press/Taylor and Francis, Boca Raton, FL, 95th Edition, Internet Version 2015, accessed December 2014.

  • Tables of Physical & Chemical Constants, Kaye & Laby Online, 16th edition, 1995. Version 1.0 (2005), accessed December 2014.

  • J. S. Coursey, D. J. Schwab, J. J. Tsai, and R. A. Dragoset, Atomic Weights and Isotopic Compositions (version 4.1), 2015, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, accessed November 2016.

  • T. L. Cottrell, The Strengths of Chemical Bonds, Butterworth, London, 1954.

  • John Emsley, Nature’s Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements, Oxford University Press, New York, 2nd Edition, 2011.

  • Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility - Office of Science Education, It’s Elemental - The Periodic Table of Elements, accessed December 2014.