Vanadium – Important Transition Metals

Chemistry of Some Important Transition Metals


It was discovered in 1801 in Mexico by Anders Manuel del Rio but was considered as form of chromium. Later it was rediscovered in 1830 by Swedish chemist Nils Gabriel Sefströrm.

Interesting facts about vanadium:

The element was named after Vanadis, goddess of beauty and love in Scandinavian mythology.

Characteristics of Vanadium :

(i) Symbol = V     

(ii) Atomic Number = 23  

 (iii) Luster = Silvery white          

 (iv) Group = V- B

(v) Period = 3rd     

(vi) Melting point = 2188K or 1915oC         

(vii) Boiling point = 3623K or 3350oC

(viii) Electronic configuration of Vanadium = 1s2, 2s2, 2p6, 3s2, 3p6, 4s2, 3d3

(ix) Oxidation states:

  • Vanadium shows +2, +3, +4 and +5 oxidation state in its compounds.
  • The compounds with lower oxidation state are ionic, good reducing agent and coloured.
  • The compounds in higher oxidation state are generally colourless due to vacant orbitals.
  • When compounds having higher oxidation state are reduced by some suitable reducing agent, changes occur in their oxidation states and thus colours changes.

VO3   →  VO2+   →          V3+         →         V2+         

Vanadium (V) ,Vanadium (IV) , Vanadium (III)  and              Vanadium (II)

  • Vanadium also show +1, 0, -1 oxidation states e.g. oxidation state of vanadium is +1 in [V(dipy)3]+, zero in [V(CO)6] and -1 in [V(CO)]

(x) Vanadium as catalyst:

In past during manufacturing of sulphuric acid by contact process platinum was used as catalyst. But now platinum is replaced by vanadium pentaoxide (V2O5).

2SO2 + O2      ⇌         2SO3  

( V2O5 used as a catalyst )
It is used as catalyst when substances are oxidized by oxygen. It is also used as catalyst in oxidation of alcohols and hydrogenation of olefins (alkenes).

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