|Pronunciation|| / /(|
|Appearance||hard lustrous bluish gray metal|
|Standard atomic weight Ar, std(Co)||58.933194(3)|
|Cobalt in the periodic table|
|Atomic number (Z)||27|
|Element category||transition metal|
|Electron configuration||[ Ar ] 3d7 4s2|
Electrons per shell
|2, 8, 15, 2|
|Phase at STP||solid|
|Melting point||1768 K (1495 °C,2723 °F)|
|Boiling point||3200 K(2927 °C,5301 °F)|
|Density (near r.t.)||8.90 g/cm3|
|when liquid (at m.p.)||8.86 g/cm3|
|Heat of fusion||16.06 kJ/mol|
|Heat of vaporization||377 kJ/mol|
|Molar heat capacity||24.81 J/(mol·K)|
| Vapor pressure |
|Oxidation states||−3, −1, +1, +2, +3, +4, +5 (an amphoteric oxide)|
|Electronegativity||Pauling scale: 1.88|
|Atomic radius||empirical:125 pm|
|Covalent radius||Low spin: 126±3 pm|
High spin: 150±7 pm
|Spectral lines of cobalt|
|Crystal structure|| hexagonal close-packed (hcp)|
|Speed of sound thin rod||4720 m/s(at 20 °C)|
|Thermal expansion||13.0 µm/(m·K)(at 25 °C)|
|Thermal conductivity||100 W/(m·K)|
|Electrical resistivity||62.4 nΩ·m(at 20 °C)|
|Young's modulus||209 GPa|
|Shear modulus||75 GPa|
|Bulk modulus||180 GPa|
|Vickers hardness||1043 MPa|
|Brinell hardness||470–3000 MPa|
|Discovery and first isolation||Georg Brandt (1735)|
|Main isotopes of cobalt|
Cobalt is a chemical element with the symbol Co and atomic number 27. Like nickel, cobalt is found in the Earth's crust only in chemically combined form, save for small deposits found in alloys of natural meteoric iron. The free element, produced by reductive smelting, is a hard, lustrous, silver-gray metal.
A chemical element is a species of atom having the same number of protons in their atomic nuclei. For example, the atomic number of oxygen is 8, so the element oxygen consists of all atoms which have exactly 8 protons.
In relation to the chemical elements, a symbol is a code for a chemical element. Symbols for chemical elements normally consist of one or two letters from the Latin alphabet and are written with the first letter capitalised.
Meteoric iron, sometimes meteoritic iron, is a native metal found in meteorites and made from the elements iron and nickel mainly in the form of the mineral phases kamacite and taenite. Meteoric iron makes up the bulk of iron meteorites but is also found in other meteorites. Apart from minor amounts of telluric iron, meteoric iron is the only naturally occurring native metal of the element iron on the Earth's surface.
Cobalt-based blue pigments (cobalt blue) have been used since ancient times for jewelry and paints, and to impart a distinctive blue tint to glass, but the color was later thought by alchemists to be due to the known metal bismuth. Miners had long used the name kobold ore (German for goblin ore) for some of the blue-pigment producing minerals; they were so named because they were poor in known metals, and gave poisonous arsenic-containing fumes when smelted. In 1735, such ores were found to be reducible to a new metal (the first discovered since ancient times), and this was ultimately named for the kobold.
Cobalt blue is a blue pigment made by sintering cobalt(II) oxide with alumina at 1200 °C. Chemically, cobalt blue pigment is cobalt(II) oxide-aluminium oxide, or cobalt(II) aluminate, CoAl2O4. Cobalt blue is lighter and less intense than the (iron-cyanide based) pigment Prussian blue. It is extremely stable and has historically been used as a coloring agent in ceramics (especially Chinese porcelain), jewelry, and paint. Transparent glasses are tinted with the silica-based cobalt pigment smalt.
Bismuth is a chemical element with the symbol Bi and atomic number 83. It is a pentavalent post-transition metal and one of the pnictogens with chemical properties resembling its lighter homologs arsenic and antimony. Elemental bismuth may occur naturally, although its sulfide and oxide form important commercial ores. The free element is 86% as dense as lead. It is a brittle metal with a silvery white color when freshly produced, but surface oxidation can give it a pink tinge. Bismuth is the most naturally diamagnetic element, and has one of the lowest values of thermal conductivity among metals.
The kobold is a sprite stemming from Germanic mythology and surviving into modern times in German folklore.
Today, some cobalt is produced specifically from one of a number of metallic-lustered ores, such as for example cobaltite (CoAs S). The element is however more usually produced as a by-product of copper and nickel mining. The copper belt in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Zambia yields most of the global cobalt production. The DRC alone accounted for more than 50% of world production in 2016 (123,000 tonnes), according to Natural Resources Canada.
Cobaltite is a sulfide mineral composed of cobalt, arsenic, and sulfur, CoAsS. It contains up to 10% iron and variable amounts of nickel. Structurally, it resembles pyrite (FeS2) with one of the sulfur atoms replaced by an arsenic atom.
Arsenic is a chemical element with the symbol As and atomic number 33. Arsenic occurs in many minerals, usually in combination with sulfur and metals, but also as a pure elemental crystal. Arsenic is a metalloid. It has various allotropes, but only the gray form, which has a metallic appearance, is important to industry.
Sulfur (also spelled sulphur) is a chemical element with the symbol S and atomic number 16. It is abundant, multivalent, and nonmetallic. Under normal conditions, sulfur atoms form cyclic octatomic molecules with a chemical formula S8. Elemental sulfur is a bright yellow, crystalline solid at room temperature.
Cobalt is primarily used in the manufacture of magnetic, wear-resistant and high-strength alloys. The compounds cobalt silicate and cobalt(II) aluminate (CoAl2O4, cobalt blue) give a distinctive deep blue color to glass, ceramics, inks, paints and varnishes. Cobalt occurs naturally as only one stable isotope, cobalt-59. Cobalt-60 is a commercially important radioisotope, used as a radioactive tracer and for the production of high energy gamma rays.
Magnetism is a class of physical phenomena that are mediated by magnetic fields. Electric currents and the magnetic moments of elementary particles give rise to a magnetic field, which acts on other currents and magnetic moments. The most familiar effects occur in ferromagnetic materials, which are strongly attracted by magnetic fields and can be magnetized to become permanent magnets, producing magnetic fields themselves. Only a few substances are ferromagnetic; the most common ones are iron, cobalt and nickel and their alloys such as steel. The prefix ferro- refers to iron, because permanent magnetism was first observed in lodestone, a form of natural iron ore called magnetite, Fe3O4.
An alloy is a combination of metals and of a metal or another element. Alloys are defined by a metallic bonding character. An alloy may be a solid solution of metal elements or a mixture of metallic phases. Intermetallic compounds are alloys with a defined stoichiometry and crystal structure. Zintl phases are also sometimes considered alloys depending on bond types.
Glass is a non-crystalline, amorphous solid that is often transparent and has widespread practical, technological, and decorative uses in, for example, window panes, tableware, and optoelectronics. The most familiar, and historically the oldest, types of manufactured glass are "silicate glasses" based on the chemical compound silica (silicon dioxide, or quartz), the primary constituent of sand. The term glass, in popular usage, is often used to refer only to this type of material, which is familiar from use as window glass and in glass bottles. Of the many silica-based glasses that exist, ordinary glazing and container glass is formed from a specific type called soda-lime glass, composed of approximately 75% silicon dioxide (SiO2), sodium oxide (Na2O) from sodium carbonate (Na2CO3), calcium oxide (CaO), also called lime, and several minor additives.
Cobalt is the active center of a group of coenzymes called cobalamins. vitamin B12, the best-known example of the type, is an essential vitamin for all animals. Cobalt in inorganic form is also a micronutrient for bacteria, algae, and fungi.
Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin that is involved in the metabolism of every cell of the human body: it is a cofactor in DNA synthesis, and in both fatty acid and amino acid metabolism. It is particularly important in the normal functioning of the nervous system via its role in the synthesis of myelin, and in the maturation of developing red blood cells in the bone marrow.
Micronutrients are essential elements required by organisms in small quantities throughout life to orchestrate a range of physiological functions to maintain health. Micronutrient requirements differ between organisms; for example, humans and other animals require numerous vitamins and dietary minerals, whereas plants require specific minerals. For human nutrition, micronutrient requirements are in amounts generally less than 100 milligrams per day, whereas macronutrients are required in gram quantities daily.
Bacteria are a type of biological cell. They constitute a large domain of prokaryotic microorganisms. Typically a few micrometres in length, bacteria have a number of shapes, ranging from spheres to rods and spirals. Bacteria were among the first life forms to appear on Earth, and are present in most of its habitats. Bacteria inhabit soil, water, acidic hot springs, radioactive waste, and the deep portions of Earth's crust. Bacteria also live in symbiotic and parasitic relationships with plants and animals. Most bacteria have not been characterised, and only about 27 percent of the bacterial phyla have species that can be grown in the laboratory . The study of bacteria is known as bacteriology, a branch of microbiology.
Cobalt is a ferromagnetic metal with a specific gravity of 8.9. The Curie temperature is 1,115 °C (2,039 °F) and the magnetic moment is 1.6–1.7 Bohr magnetons per atom. Cobalt has a relative permeability two-thirds that of iron. Metallic cobalt occurs as two crystallographic structures: hcp and fcc. The ideal transition temperature between the hcp and fcc structures is 450 °C (842 °F), but in practice the energy difference between them is so small that random intergrowth of the two is common.
Ferromagnetism is the basic mechanism by which certain materials form permanent magnets, or are attracted to magnets. In physics, several different types of magnetism are distinguished. Ferromagnetism is the strongest type and is responsible for the common phenomena of magnetism in magnets encountered in everyday life. Substances respond weakly to magnetic fields with three other types of magnetism—paramagnetism, diamagnetism, and antiferromagnetism—but the forces are usually so weak that they can only be detected by sensitive instruments in a laboratory. An everyday example of ferromagnetism is a refrigerator magnet used to hold notes on a refrigerator door. The attraction between a magnet and ferromagnetic material is "the quality of magnetism first apparent to the ancient world, and to us today".
Specific gravity is the ratio of the density of a substance to the density of a reference substance; equivalently, it is the ratio of the mass of a substance to the mass of a reference substance for the same given volume. Apparent specific gravity is the ratio of the weight of a volume of the substance to the weight of an equal volume of the reference substance. The reference substance for liquids is nearly always water at its densest ; for gases it is air at room temperature. Nonetheless, the temperature and pressure must be specified for both the sample and the reference. Pressure is nearly always 1 atm (101.325 kPa).
In physics and materials science, the Curie temperature (TC), or Curie point, is the temperature above which certain materials lose their permanent magnetic properties, to be replaced by induced magnetism. The Curie temperature is named after Pierre Curie, who showed that magnetism was lost at a critical temperature.
Cobalt is a weakly reducing metal that is protected from oxidation by a passivating oxide film. It is attacked by halogens and sulfur. Heating in oxygen produces Co3O4 which loses oxygen at 900 °C (1,650 °F) to give the monoxide CoO. The metal reacts with fluorine (F2) at 520 K to give CoF3; with chlorine (Cl2), bromine (Br2) and iodine (I2), producing equivalent binary halides. It does not react with hydrogen gas (H2) or nitrogen gas (N2) even when heated, but it does react with boron, carbon, phosphorus, arsenic and sulfur. At ordinary temperatures, it reacts slowly with mineral acids, and very slowly with moist, but not with dry, air.
Common oxidation states of cobalt include +2 and +3, although compounds with oxidation states ranging from −3 to +5 are also known. A common oxidation state for simple compounds is +2 (cobalt(II)). These salts form the pink-colored metal aquo complex [Co(H2O)6]2+ in water. Addition of chloride gives the intensely blue [CoCl
. In a borax bead flame test, cobalt shows deep blue in both oxidizing and reducing flames.
Several oxides of cobalt are known. Green cobalt(II) oxide (CoO) has rocksalt structure. It is readily oxidized with water and oxygen to brown cobalt(III) hydroxide (Co(OH)3). At temperatures of 600–700 °C, CoO oxidizes to the blue cobalt(II,III) oxide (Co3O4), which has a spinel structure. Black cobalt(III) oxide (Co2O3) is also known. Cobalt oxides are antiferromagnetic at low temperature: CoO (Néel temperature 291 K) and Co3O4 (Néel temperature: 40 K), which is analogous to magnetite (Fe3O4), with a mixture of +2 and +3 oxidation states.
The principal chalcogenides of cobalt include the black cobalt(II) sulfides, CoS2, which adopts a pyrite-like structure, and cobalt(III) sulfide (Co2S3).
Four dihalides of cobalt(II) are known: cobalt(II) fluoride (CoF2, pink), cobalt(II) chloride (CoCl2, blue), cobalt(II) bromide (CoBr2, green), cobalt(II) iodide (CoI2, blue-black). These halides exist in anhydrous and hydrated forms. Whereas the anhydrous dichloride is blue, the hydrate is red.
The reduction potential for the reaction Co3+
+ e− → Co2+
is +1.92 V, beyond that for chlorine to chloride, +1.36 V. Consequently, cobalt(III) and chloride would result in the cobalt(III) being reduced to cobalt(II). Because the reduction potential for fluorine to fluoride is so high, +2.87 V, cobalt(III) fluoride is one of the few simple stable cobalt(III) compounds. Cobalt(III) fluoride, which is used in some fluorination reactions, reacts vigorously with water.
As for all metals, molecular compounds and polyatomic ions of cobalt are classified as coordination complexes, that is, molecules or ions that contain cobalt linked to several ligands. The principles of electronegativity and hardness–softness of a series of ligands can be used to explain the usual oxidation state of cobalt. For example, Co+3 complexes tend to have ammine ligands. Because phosphorus is softer than nitrogen, phosphine ligands tend to feature the softer Co2+ and Co+, an example being tris(triphenylphosphine)cobalt(I) chloride ((P(C6H5)3)3CoCl). The more electronegative (and harder) oxide and fluoride can stabilize Co4+ and Co5+ derivatives, e.g. caesium hexafluorocobaltate (Cs2CoF6) and potassium percobaltate (K3CoO4).
Alfred Werner, a Nobel-prize winning pioneer in coordination chemistry, worked with compounds of empirical formula [Co(NH3)6]3+. One of the isomers determined was cobalt(III) hexammine chloride. This coordination complex, a typical Werner-type complex, consists of a central cobalt atom coordinated by six ammine orthogonal ligands and three chloride counteranions. Using chelating ethylenediamine ligands in place of ammonia gives tris(ethylenediamine)cobalt(III) ([Co(en)3]3+), which was one of the first coordination complexes to be resolved into optical isomers. The complex exists in the right- and left-handed forms of a "three-bladed propeller". This complex was first isolated by Werner as yellow-gold needle-like crystals.
Cobaltocene is a structural analog to ferrocene, with cobalt in place of iron. Cobaltocene is much more sensitive to oxidation than ferrocene.Cobalt carbonyl (Co2(CO)8) is a catalyst in carbonylation and hydrosilylation reactions. Vitamin B12 (see below) is an organometallic compound found in nature and is the only vitamin that contains a metal atom. An example of an alkylcobalt complex in the otherwise uncommon +4 oxidation state of cobalt is the homoleptic complex tetrakis(1-norbornyl)cobalt(IV) (Co(1-norb)4), a transition metal-alkyl complex that is notable for its stability to β-hydrogen elimination. The cobalt(III) and cobalt(V) complexes [Li(THF)4]+[Co(1-norb)4]− and [Co(1-norb)4]+[BF4]− are also known.
59Co is the only stable cobalt isotope and the only isotope that exists naturally on Earth. Twenty-two radioisotopes have been characterized; the most stable, 60Co has a half-life of 5.2714 years, and 57Co has a half-life of 271.8 days, 56Co a half-life of 77.27 days, and 58Co a half-life of 70.86 days. All the other radioactive isotopes of cobalt have half-lives shorter than 18 hours, and in most cases shorter than 1 second. This element also has 4 meta states, all of which have half-lives shorter than 15 minutes.
The isotopes of cobalt range in atomic weight from 50 u (50Co) to 73 u (73Co). The primary decay mode for isotopes with atomic mass unit values less than that of the most abundant stable isotope, 59Co, is electron capture and the primary mode of decay in isotopes with atomic mass greater than 59 atomic mass units is beta decay. The primary decay products below 59Co are element 26 (iron) isotopes; above that the decay products are element 28 (nickel) isotopes.
Cobalt compounds have been used for centuries to impart a rich blue color to glass, glazes, and ceramics. Cobalt has been detected in Egyptian sculpture, Persian jewelry from the third millennium BC, in the ruins of Pompeii, destroyed in 79 AD, and in China, dating from the Tang dynasty (618–907 AD) and the Ming dynasty (1368–1644 AD).
Cobalt has been used to color glass since the Bronze Age. The excavation of the Uluburun shipwreck yielded an ingot of blue glass, cast during the 14th century BC.Blue glass from Egypt was either colored with copper, iron, or cobalt. The oldest cobalt-colored glass is from the eighteenth dynasty of Egypt (1550–1292 BC). The source for the cobalt the Egyptians used is not known.
The word cobalt is derived from the German kobalt, from kobold meaning "goblin", a superstitious term used for the ore of cobalt by miners. The first attempts to smelt those ores for copper or nickel failed, yielding simply powder (cobalt(II) oxide) instead. Because the primary ores of cobalt always contain arsenic, smelting the ore oxidized the arsenic into the highly toxic and volatile arsenic oxide, adding to the notoriety of the ore.
Swedish chemist Georg Brandt (1694–1768) is credited with discovering cobalt circa 1735, showing it to be a previously unknown element, different from bismuth and other traditional metals. Brandt called it a new "semi-metal".He showed that compounds of cobalt metal were the source of the blue color in glass, which previously had been attributed to the bismuth found with cobalt. Cobalt became the first metal to be discovered since the pre-historical period. All other known metals (iron, copper, silver, gold, zinc, mercury, tin, lead and bismuth) had no recorded discoverers.
During the 19th century, a significant part of the world's production of cobalt blue (a dye made with cobalt compounds and alumina) and smalt (cobalt glass powdered for use for pigment purposes in ceramics and painting) was carried out at the Norwegian Blaafarveværket.The first mines for the production of smalt in the 16th century were located in Norway, Sweden, Saxony and Hungary. With the discovery of cobalt ore in New Caledonia in 1864, the mining of cobalt in Europe declined. With the discovery of ore deposits in Ontario, Canada in 1904 and the discovery of even larger deposits in the Katanga Province in the Congo in 1914, the mining operations shifted again. When the Shaba conflict started in 1978, the copper mines of Katanga Province nearly stopped production. The impact on the world cobalt economy from this conflict was smaller than expected: cobalt is a rare metal, the pigment is highly toxic, and the industry had already established effective ways for recycling cobalt materials. In some cases, industry was able to change to cobalt-free alternatives.
In 1938, John Livingood and Glenn T. Seaborg discovered the radioisotope cobalt-60.This isotope was famously used at Columbia University in the 1950s to establish parity violation in radioactive beta decay.
After World War II, the US wanted to guarantee the supply of cobalt ore for military uses (as the Germans had been doing) and prospected for cobalt within the U.S. border. An adequate supply of the ore was found in Idaho near Blackbird canyon in the side of a mountain. The firm Calera Mining Company started production at the site.
The stable form of cobalt is produced in supernovas through the r-process.It comprises 0.0029% of the Earth's crust. Free cobalt (the native metal) is not found on Earth because of the oxygen in the atmosphere and the chlorine in the ocean. Both are abundant enough in the upper layers of the Earth's crust to prevent native metal cobalt from forming. Except as recently delivered in meteoric iron, pure cobalt in native metal form is unknown on Earth. The element has a medium abundance but natural compounds of cobalt are numerous and small amounts of cobalt compounds are found in most rocks, soils, plants, and animals.
In nature, cobalt is frequently associated with nickel. Both are characteristic components of meteoric iron, though cobalt is much less abundant in iron meteorites than nickel. As with nickel, cobalt in meteoric iron alloys may have been well enough protected from oxygen and moisture to remain as the free (but alloyed) metal,though neither element is seen in that form in the ancient terrestrial crust.
Cobalt in compound form occurs in copper and nickel minerals. It is the major metallic component that combines with sulfur and arsenic in the sulfidic cobaltite (CoAsS), safflorite (CoAs2), glaucodot ((Co,Fe)AsS), and skutterudite (CoAs3) minerals.The mineral cattierite is similar to pyrite and occurs together with vaesite in the copper deposits of Katanga Province. When it reaches the atmosphere, weathering occurs; the sulfide minerals oxidize and form pink erythrite ("cobalt glance": Co3(AsO4)2·8H2O) and spherocobaltite (CoCO3).
Cobalt is also a constituent of tobacco smoke.The tobacco plant readily absorbs and accumulates heavy metals like cobalt from the surrounding soil in its leaves. These are subsequently inhaled during tobacco smoking.
The main ores of cobalt are cobaltite, erythrite, glaucodot and skutterudite (see above), but most cobalt is obtained by reducing the cobalt by-products of nickel and copper mining and smelting.
Since cobalt is generally produced as a by-product, the supply of cobalt depends to a great extent on the economic feasibility of copper and nickel mining in a given market. Demand for cobalt was projected to grow 6% in 2017.
Several methods exist to separate cobalt from copper and nickel, depending on the concentration of cobalt and the exact composition of the used ore. One method is froth flotation, in which surfactants bind to different ore components, leading to an enrichment of cobalt ores. Subsequent roasting converts the ores to cobalt sulfate, and the copper and the iron are oxidized to the oxide. Leaching with water extracts the sulfate together with the arsenates. The residues are further leached with sulfuric acid, yielding a solution of copper sulfate. Cobalt can also be leached from the slag of copper smelting.
The products of the above-mentioned processes are transformed into the cobalt oxide (Co3O4). This oxide is reduced to metal by the aluminothermic reaction or reduction with carbon in a blast furnace.
The United States Geological Survey estimates world reserves of cobalt at 7,100,000 metric tons.The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) currently produces 63% of the world’s cobalt. This market share may reach 73% by 2025 if planned expansions by mining producers like Glencore Plc take place as expected. But by 2030, global demand could be 47 times more than it was in 2017, Bloomberg New Energy Finance has estimated.
Changes that Congo made to mining laws in 2002 attracted new investments in Congolese copper and cobalt projects. Glencore's Mutanda mine shipped 24,500 tons of cobalt last year, 40% of Congo DRC’s output and nearly a quarter of global production. Glencore’s Katanga Mining project is resuming as well and should produce 300,000 tons of copper and 20,000 tons of cobalt by 2019, according to Glencore.
In 2005, the top producer of cobalt was the copper deposits in the Democratic Republic of the Congo's Katanga Province. Formerly Shaba province, the area had almost 40% of global reserves, reported the British Geological Survey in 2009.By 2015, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) supplied 60% of world cobalt production, 32,000 tons at $20,000 to $26,000 per ton. Recent growth in production could at least partly be due to how low mining production fell during DRC Congo's very violent civil wars in the early 2000s, or to the changes the country made to its Mining Code in 2002 to encourage foreign and multinational investment and which did bring in a number of investors, including Glencore.
Artisanal mining supplied 10% to 25% of the DRC production.Some 100,000 cobalt miners in Congo DRC use hand tools to dig hundreds of feet, with little planning and fewer safety measures, say workers and government and NGO officials, as well as Washington Post reporters' observations on visits to isolated mines. The lack of safety precautions frequently causes injuries or death. Mining pollutes the vicinity and exposes local wildlife and indigenous communities to toxic metals thought to cause birth defects and breathing difficulties, according to health officials.
Human rights activists have alleged, and investigative journalism reported confirmation,that child labor is used in mining cobalt from African artisanal mines. This revelation prompted cell phone maker Apple Inc., on March 3, 2017, to stop buying ore from suppliers such as Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt who source from artisanal mines in the DRC, and begin using only suppliers that are verified to meet its workplace standards.
The political and ethnic dynamics of the region have in the past caused horrific outbreaks of violence and years of armed conflict and displaced populations. This instability affected the price of cobalt and also created perverse incentives for the combatants in the First and Second Congo Wars to prolong the fighting, since access to diamond mines and other valuable resources helped to finance their military goals—which frequently amounted to genocide—and also enriched the fighters themselves. While DR Congo has in the 2010s not recently been invaded by neighboring military forces, some of the richest mineral deposits adjoin areas where Tutsis and Hutus still frequently clash, unrest continues although on a smaller scale and refugees still flee outbreaks of violence.
Cobalt extracted from small Congolese artisanal mining endeavors in 2007 supplied a single Chinese company, Congo DongFang International Mining. A subsidiary of Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt, one of the world’s largest cobalt producers, Congo DongFang supplied cobalt to some of the world’s largest battery manufacturers, who produced batteries for ubiquitous products like the Apple iPhones. Corporate pieties about an ethical supply chain were thus met with some incredulity. A number of observers have called for tech corporations and other manufacturers to avoid sourcing conflict metals in Central Africa at all rather than risk enabling the financial exploitation, human rights abuses like kidnappings for unfree labor, environmental devastation and the human toll of violence, poverty and toxic conditions.
The Mukondo Mountain project, operated by the Central African Mining and Exploration Company (CAMEC) in Katanga Province, may be the richest cobalt reserve in the world. It produced an estimated one third of the total global coval production in 2008.In July 2009, CAMEC announced a long-term agreement to deliver its entire annual production of cobalt concentrate from Mukondo Mountain to Zhejiang Galico Cobalt & Nickel Materials of China.
In February 2018, global asset management firm AllianceBernstein defined the DRC as economically "the Saudi Arabia of the electric vehicle age," due to its cobalt resources, as essential to the lithium-ion batteries that drive electric vehicles.
On March 9, 2018, President Joseph Kabila updated the 2002 mining code, increasing royalty charges and declaring cobalt and coltan "strategic metals".
In 2017, some exploration companies were planning to survey old silver and cobalt mines in the area of Cobalt, Ontario where significant deposits are believed to lie.The mayor of Cobalt stated that the people of Cobalt welcomed new mining endeavours and pointed out that the local work force is peaceful and English-speaking, and good infrastructure would allow much easier sourcing of spare parts for the equipment or other supplies than were to be found in conflict-zones.
Cobalt has been used in production of high-performance alloys.It can also be used to make rechargeable batteries, and the advent of electric vehicles and their success with consumers probably has a great deal to do with the DRC's soaring production. Other important factors were the 2002 Mining Code, which encouraged investment by foreign and transnational corporations such as Glencore, and the end of the First and Second Congo Wars.
Cobalt-based superalloys have historically consumed most of the cobalt produced.The temperature stability of these alloys makes them suitable for turbine blades for gas turbines and aircraft jet engines, although nickel-based single-crystal alloys surpass them in performance. Cobalt-based alloys are also corrosion- and wear-resistant, making them, like titanium, useful for making orthopedic implants that don't wear down over time. The development of wear-resistant cobalt alloys started in the first decade of the 20th century with the stellite alloys, containing chromium with varying quantities of tungsten and carbon. Alloys with chromium and tungsten carbides are very hard and wear-resistant. Special cobalt-chromium-molybdenum alloys like Vitallium are used for prosthetic parts (hip and knee replacements). Cobalt alloys are also used for dental prosthetics as a useful substitute for nickel, which may be allergenic. Some high-speed steels also contain cobalt for increased heat and wear resistance. The special alloys of aluminium, nickel, cobalt and iron, known as Alnico, and of samarium and cobalt (samarium-cobalt magnet) are used in permanent magnets. It is also alloyed with 95% platinum for jewelry, yielding an alloy suitable for fine casting, which is also slightly magnetic.
Lithium cobalt oxide (LiCoO2) is widely used in lithium-ion battery cathodes. The material is composed of cobalt oxide layers with the lithium intercalated. During discharge,[ clarification needed ] the lithium is released as lithium ions. Nickel-cadmium (NiCd) and nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries also include cobalt to improve the oxidation of nickel in the battery. Transparency Market Research estimated the global lithium-ion battery market at $30 billion in 2015 and predicted an increase to over US$75 billion by 2024.
Although in 2018 most cobalt in batteries was used in a mobile device,a more recent application for cobalt is rechargeable batteries for electric cars. This industry has increased five-fold in its demand for cobalt, which makes it urgent to find new raw materials in more stable areas of the world. Demand is expected to continue or increase as the prevalence of electric vehicles increases. Exploration in 2016–2017 included the area around Cobalt, Ontario, an area where many silver mines ceased operation decades ago.
Since child and slave labor have been repeatedly reported in cobalt mining, primarily in the artisanal mines of DR Congo, tech companies seeking an ethical supply chain have faced shortages of this raw material andthe price of cobalt metal reached a nine-year high in October 2017, more than US$30 a pound, versus US$10 in late 2015.
Several cobalt compounds are oxidation catalysts. Cobalt acetate is used to convert xylene to terephthalic acid, the precursor of the bulk polymer polyethylene terephthalate. Typical catalysts are the cobalt carboxylates (known as cobalt soaps). They are also used in paints, varnishes, and inks as "drying agents" through the oxidation of drying oils.The same carboxylates are used to improve the adhesion between steel and rubber in steel-belted radial tires. In addition they are used as accelerators in polyester resin systems.
Cobalt-based catalysts are used in reactions involving carbon monoxide. Cobalt is also a catalyst in the Fischer–Tropsch process for the hydrogenation of carbon monoxide into liquid fuels.Hydroformylation of alkenes often uses cobalt octacarbonyl as a catalyst, although it is often replaced by more efficient iridium- and rhodium-based catalysts, e.g. the Cativa process.
The hydrodesulfurization of petroleum uses a catalyst derived from cobalt and molybdenum. This process helps to clean petroleum of sulfur impurities that interfere with the refining of liquid fuels.
Before the 19th century, cobalt was predominantly used as a pigment. It has been used since the Middle Ages to make smalt, a blue-colored glass. Smalt is produced by melting a mixture of roasted mineral smaltite, quartz and potassium carbonate, which yields a dark blue silicate glass, which is finely ground after the production. [ clarification needed ] yellow pigments.Smalt was widely used to color glass and as pigment for paintings. In 1780, Sven Rinman discovered cobalt green, and in 1802 Louis Jacques Thénard discovered cobalt blue. Cobalt pigments such as cobalt blue (cobalt aluminate), cerulean blue (cobalt(II) stannate), various hues of cobalt green (a mixture of cobalt(II) oxide and zinc oxide), and cobalt violet (cobalt phosphate) are used as artist's pigments because of their superior chromatic stability. Aureolin (cobalt yellow) is now largely replaced by more lightfast
Cobalt-60 (Co-60 or 60Co) is useful as a gamma-ray source because they can be produced in predictable quantity and high activity by bombarding cobalt with neutrons. It produces gamma rays with energies of 1.17 and 1.33 MeV.
Cobalt is used in external beam radiotherapy, sterilization of medical supplies and medical waste, radiation treatment of foods for sterilization (cold pasteurization),industrial radiography (e.g. weld integrity radiographs), density measurements (e.g. concrete density measurements), and tank fill height switches. The metal has the unfortunate property of producing a fine dust, causing problems with radiation protection. Cobalt from radiotherapy machines has been a serious hazard when not discarded properly, and one of the worst radiation contamination accidents in North America occurred in 1984, when a discarded radiotherapy unit containing cobalt-60 was mistakenly disassembled in a junkyard in Juarez, Mexico.
Cobalt-60 has a radioactive half-life of 5.27 years. Loss of potency requires periodic replacement of the source in radiotherapy and is one reason why cobalt machines have been largely replaced by linear accelerators in modern radiation therapy. Cobalt-57 (Co-57 or 57Co) is a cobalt radioisotope most often used in medical tests, as a radiolabel for vitamin B12 uptake, and for the Schilling test. Cobalt-57 is used as a source in Mössbauer spectroscopy and is one of several possible sources in X-ray fluorescence devices.
Nuclear weapon designs could intentionally incorporate 59Co, some of which would be activated in a nuclear explosion to produce 60Co. The 60Co, dispersed as nuclear fallout, is sometimes called a cobalt bomb.
Cobalt is essential to the metabolism of all animals. It is a key constituent of cobalamin, also known as vitamin B12, the primary biological reservoir of cobalt as an ultratrace element. mg/kg a day is recommended because they have no other source of vitamin B12.Bacteria in the stomachs of ruminant animals convert cobalt salts into vitamin B12, a compound which can only be produced by bacteria or archaea. A minimal presence of cobalt in soils therefore markedly improves the health of grazing animals, and an uptake of 0.20
In the early 20th century, during the development of farming on the North Island Volcanic Plateau of New Zealand, cattle suffered from what was termed "bush sickness". It was discovered that the volcanic soils lacked the cobalt salts essential for the cattle food chain.
The "coast disease" of sheep in the Ninety Mile Desert of the Southeast of South Australia in the 1930s was found to originate in nutritional deficiencies of trace elements cobalt and copper. The cobalt deficiency was overcome by the development of "cobalt bullets", dense pellets of cobalt oxide mixed with clay given orally for lodging in the animal's rumen.[ clarification needed ]
Proteins based on cobalamin use corrin to hold the cobalt. Coenzyme B12 features a reactive C-Co bond that participates in the reactions.In humans, B12 has two types of alkyl ligand: methyl and adenosyl. MeB12 promotes methyl (−CH3) group transfers. The adenosyl version of B12 catalyzes rearrangements in which a hydrogen atom is directly transferred between two adjacent atoms with concomitant exchange of the second substituent, X, which may be a carbon atom with substituents, an oxygen atom of an alcohol, or an amine. Methylmalonyl coenzyme A mutase (MUT) converts MMl-CoA to Su-CoA, an important step in the extraction of energy from proteins and fats.
Although far less common than other metalloproteins (e.g. those of zinc and iron), other cobaltoproteins are known besides B12. These proteins include methionine aminopeptidase 2, an enzyme that occurs in humans and other mammals that does not use the corrin ring of B12, but binds cobalt directly. Another non-corrin cobalt enzyme is nitrile hydratase, an enzyme in bacteria that metabolizes nitriles.
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|H317, H334, H413|
|P261, P280, P342+311|
Cobalt is an essential element for life in minute amounts. The LD50 value for soluble cobalt salts has been estimated to be between 150 and 500 mg/kg. In the US, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has designated a permissible exposure limit (PEL) in the workplace as a time-weighted average (TWA) of 0.1 mg/m3. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has set a recommended exposure limit (REL) of 0.05 mg/m3, time-weighted average. The IDLH (immediately dangerous to life and health) value is 20 mg/m3.
However, chronic cobalt ingestion has caused serious health problems at doses far less than the lethal dose. In 1966, the addition of cobalt compounds to stabilize beer foam in Canada led to a peculiar form of toxin-induced cardiomyopathy, which came to be known as beer drinker's cardiomyopathy.
It causes respiratory problems when inhaled.It also causes skin problems when touched; after nickel and chromium, cobalt is a major cause of contact dermatitis. These risks are faced by cobalt miners.
Cobalt can be effectively absorbed by charred pigs' bones; however, this process is inhibited by copper and zinc, which have greater affinities to bone char.
Indium is a chemical element with the symbol In and atomic number 49. Indium is the softest metal that is not considered to be an alkali metal. It is a silvery-white metal that resembles Tin(Sn) in appearance. It is a post-transition metal that makes up 0.21 parts per million of the Earth's crust. Indium has a melting point higher than sodium and gallium, but lower than lithium and tin. Chemically, indium is similar to gallium and thallium, and it is largely intermediate between the two in terms of its properties. Indium was discovered in 1863 by Ferdinand Reich and Hieronymous Theodor Richter by spectroscopic methods. They named it for the indigo blue line in its spectrum. Indium was isolated the next year.
Manganese is a chemical element with the symbol Mn and atomic number 25. It is not found as a free element in nature; it is often found in minerals in combination with iron. Manganese is a transition metal with important industrial alloy uses, particularly in stainless steels.
Molybdenum is a chemical element with the symbol Mo and atomic number 42. The name is from Neo-Latin molybdaenum, from Ancient Greek Μόλυβδος molybdos, meaning lead, since its ores were confused with lead ores. Molybdenum minerals have been known throughout history, but the element was discovered in 1778 by Carl Wilhelm Scheele. The metal was first isolated in 1781 by Peter Jacob Hjelm.
Nickel is a chemical element with the symbol Ni and atomic number 28. It is a silvery-white lustrous metal with a slight golden tinge. Nickel belongs to the transition metals and is hard and ductile. Pure nickel, powdered to maximize the reactive surface area, shows a significant chemical activity, but larger pieces are slow to react with air under standard conditions because an oxide layer forms on the surface and prevents further corrosion (passivation). Even so, pure native nickel is found in Earth's crust only in tiny amounts, usually in ultramafic rocks, and in the interiors of larger nickel–iron meteorites that were not exposed to oxygen when outside Earth's atmosphere.
Osmium is a chemical element with the symbol Os and atomic number 76. It is a hard, brittle, bluish-white transition metal in the platinum group that is found as a trace element in alloys, mostly in platinum ores. Osmium is the densest naturally occurring element, with an experimentally measured density of 22.59 g/cm3. Manufacturers use its alloys with platinum, iridium, and other platinum-group metals to make fountain pen nib tipping, electrical contacts, and in other applications that require extreme durability and hardness. The element's abundance in the Earth's crust is among the rarest.
Palladium is a chemical element with the symbol Pd and atomic number 46. It is a rare and lustrous silvery-white metal discovered in 1803 by William Hyde Wollaston. He named it after the asteroid Pallas, which was itself named after the epithet of the Greek goddess Athena, acquired by her when she slew Pallas. Palladium, platinum, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium and osmium form a group of elements referred to as the platinum group metals (PGMs). These have similar chemical properties, but palladium has the lowest melting point and is the least dense of them.
Platinum is a chemical element with the symbol Pt and atomic number 78. It is a dense, malleable, ductile, highly unreactive, precious, silverish-white transition metal. Its name is derived from the Spanish term platino, meaning "little silver".
Ruthenium is a chemical element with the symbol Ru and atomic number 44. It is a rare transition metal belonging to the platinum group of the periodic table. Like the other metals of the platinum group, ruthenium is inert to most other chemicals. Russian-born scientist of Baltic-German ancestry Karl Ernst Claus discovered the element in 1844 at Kazan State University and named it after the Latin name of his homeland, Ruthenia. Ruthenium is usually found as a minor component of platinum ores; the annual production has risen from about 19 tonnes in 2009 to some 35.5 tonnes in 2017. Most ruthenium produced is used in wear-resistant electrical contacts and thick-film resistors. A minor application for ruthenium is in platinum alloys and as a chemistry catalyst. A new application of ruthenium is as the capping layer for extreme ultraviolet photomasks. Ruthenium is generally found in ores with the other platinum group metals in the Ural Mountains and in North and South America. Small but commercially important quantities are also found in pentlandite extracted from Sudbury, Ontario and in pyroxenite deposits in South Africa.
Rhenium is a chemical element with the symbol Re and atomic number 75. It is a silvery-gray, heavy, third-row transition metal in group 7 of the periodic table. With an estimated average concentration of 1 part per billion (ppb), rhenium is one of the rarest elements in the Earth's crust. Rhenium has the third-highest melting point and second-highest boiling point of any element at 5903 K. Rhenium resembles manganese and technetium chemically and is mainly obtained as a by-product of the extraction and refinement of molybdenum and copper ores. Rhenium shows in its compounds a wide variety of oxidation states ranging from −1 to +7.
Scandium is a chemical element with the symbol Sc and atomic number 21. A silvery-white metallic d-block element, it has historically been classified as a rare-earth element, together with yttrium and the lanthanides. It was discovered in 1879 by spectral analysis of the minerals euxenite and gadolinite from Scandinavia.
Tungsten, or wolfram, is a chemical element with the symbol W and atomic number 74. The name tungsten comes from the former Swedish name for the tungstate mineral scheelite, tung sten or "heavy stone". Tungsten is a rare metal found naturally on Earth almost exclusively combined with other elements in chemical compounds rather than alone. It was identified as a new element in 1781 and first isolated as a metal in 1783. Its important ores include wolframite and scheelite.
Tantalum is a chemical element with the symbol Ta and atomic number 73. Previously known as tantalium, its name comes from Tantalus, a villain from Greek mythology. Tantalum is a rare, hard, blue-gray, lustrous transition metal that is highly corrosion-resistant. It is part of the refractory metals group, which are widely used as minor components in alloys. The chemical inertness of tantalum makes it a valuable substance for laboratory equipment and a substitute for platinum. Its main use today is in tantalum capacitors in electronic equipment such as mobile phones, DVD players, video game systems and computers. Tantalum, always together with the chemically similar niobium, occurs in the mineral groups tantalite, columbite and coltan. Tantalum is considered a technology-critical element.
Zinc is a chemical element with the symbol Zn and atomic number 30. Zinc is a slightly brittle metal at room temperature and has a blue-silvery appearance when oxidation is removed. It is the first element in group 12 of the periodic table. In some respects zinc is chemically similar to magnesium: both elements exhibit only one normal oxidation state (+2), and the Zn2+ and Mg2+ ions are of similar size. Zinc is the 24th most abundant element in Earth's crust and has five stable isotopes. The most common zinc ore is sphalerite (zinc blende), a zinc sulfide mineral. The largest workable lodes are in Australia, Asia, and the United States. Zinc is refined by froth flotation of the ore, roasting, and final extraction using electricity (electrowinning).
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a soft, malleable, and ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. A freshly exposed surface of pure copper has a pinkish-orange color. Copper is used as a conductor of heat and electricity, as a building material, and as a constituent of various metal alloys, such as sterling silver used in jewelry, cupronickel used to make marine hardware and coins, and constantan used in strain gauges and thermocouples for temperature measurement.
A period 4 element is one of the chemical elements in the fourth row of the periodic table of the elements. The periodic table is laid out in rows to illustrate recurring (periodic) trends in the chemical behaviour of the elements as their atomic number increases: a new row is begun when chemical behaviour begins to repeat, meaning that elements with similar behaviour fall into the same vertical columns. The fourth period contains 18 elements, beginning with potassium and ending with krypton. As a rule, period 4 elements fill their 4s shells first, then their 3d and 4p shells, in that order; however, there are exceptions, such as chromium.
The platinum-group metals are six noble, precious metallic elements clustered together in the periodic table. These elements are all transition metals in the d-block.
Nickeline or niccolite is a mineral consisting of nickel arsenide (NiAs) containing 43.9% nickel and 56.1% arsenic.
A native metal is any metal that is found pure in its metallic form in nature. Metals that can be found as native deposits singly or in alloys include aluminium, antimony, arsenic, bismuth, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, indium, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, niobium, rhenium, selenium, tantalum, tellurium, tin, titanium, tungsten, vanadium, and zinc, as well as two groups of metals: the gold group, and the platinum group. The gold group consists of gold, copper, lead, aluminium, mercury, and silver. The platinum group consists of platinum, iridium, osmium, palladium, rhodium, and ruthenium. Amongst the alloys found in native state have been brass, bronze, pewter, German silver, osmiridium, electrum, white gold, and silver-mercury and gold-mercury amalgam.
Pure gold is slightly reddish yellow in color, but colored gold in various other colors can be produced.
Cobalt extraction refers to the techniques used to extract cobalt from its ores and other compound ores. Several methods exist for the separation of cobalt from copper and nickel. They depend on the concentration of cobalt and the exact composition of the used ore.
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