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Molybdenum Uses

Read this article for information on molybdenum uses. It may tell you things about chemistry you never knew before.
Sujata Iyer
As far as chemistry is concerned, there is no dearth of things you can study about. The periodic table is enough material to keep you occupied for an entire lifetime. And the various elements in the periodic table are all equally mystifying. It's like a first encounter with a stranger. At first, you are apprehensive because the other person may not seem very approachable. But once you pay more attention and put in some effort to actually get to know the person, you realize that it is quite simple to like the person. The same goes for the various chemical elements. They might seem intimidating at first glance, but once you study them in detail, you will realize that they are quite easy to understand. Once such element is molybdenum. In this article, you'll get to know some of its properties and uses.
Common Uses of Molybdenum
Molybdenum is an element in the periodic table. It is a metal and has an atomic number of 42. The chemical symbol for molybdenum is Mo. It is a highly stable element, except when in comes in contact with acids. One of its peculiar features is that it melts at an extremely high temperature of 4730ยบ F. It was discovered by Carl William Scheele in 1778. He was under the impression that he had discovered the presence of lead in the ore of the mineral molybdenite. However, on further examining, he realized that this silvery, metallic element had no properties of lead, and hence decided to name it molybdenum, a variation of the name of its ore. Molybdenum occurs most prominently in the ore form of molybdenite, and is a relatively soft metal. Given below are some uses of molybdenum.
  • Because it is a good conductor of heat and has such a high melting point, molybdenum is used in industries that manufacture rifle barrels or produce the filaments that go into light bulbs. It is alloyed with steel for this purpose.
  • Another major use of molybdenum is in the industry of alloying. Industries alloy it with stainless steel and other alloy steels. This renders immense strength to the final alloy, which is used widely in the manufacture of equipment for hospitals, hotels, laboratories, construction, water distribution, etc.
  • Molybdenum is also used to make small but durable items like auto parts, cast iron items, furnace equipment, bearings, etc.
  • In the chemicals and lubricants industries, molybdenum is used as an agent for pigmentation and as a catalyst.
  • The cathodes of molybdenum are also used in certain chemical applications in chemistry laboratories.
  • Its compound, ammonium octamolybdate, is also used in electrical appliances to prevent the formation of smoke in the wiring and insulation.
  • Among the medical uses of this metal is a very specific one which deals with a barrage of uranium radiation and the subsequent extraction and use in medical applications.
  • In the human body, molybdenum is used as an active de-toxifying agent for alcohol.
  • Other uses of this mineral to the human body include helping to fight anemia, protecting against cancers of the stomach and esophagus. It also helps in the rapid metabolism of carbs and fats. It is also responsible for the formation of certain enzymes which bring about the synthesis of dietary proteins.
There are many more uses of this mineral in industries. These were just a snapshot, highlighting some of the most common ones.