Titanium: the essentials

Titanium s a lustrous, white metal when pure. Titanium minerals are quite common. The metal has a low density, good strength, is easily fabricated, and has excellent corrosion resistance. The metal burns in air and is the only element that burns in nitrogen. It is marvellous in fireworks.

Titanium is resistant to dilute sulphuric and hydrochloric acid, most organic acids, damp chlorine gas, and chloride solutions. Titanium metal is considered to be physiologically inert.

Titanium is present in meteorites and in the sun. Some lunar rocks contain high concentrations of the dioxide, TiO2. Titanium oxide bands are prominent in the spectra of M-type stars.

Titanium: historical information

Titanium was discovered by William Gregor in 1791 at England. Origin of name: named after the "Titans", (the sons of the Earth goddess in Greek mythology).

Titanium was discovered by the Reverend William Gregor in 1791, who was interested in minerals. He recognized the presence of a new element, now known as titanium, in menachanite, a mineral named after Menaccan in Cornwall (England). Several years later, the element was rediscovered in the ore rutile by a German chemist, Klaproth.

The pure elemental metal was not made until 1910 by Matthew A. Hunter, who heated TiCl4 together with sodium in a steel bomb at 700-800°C.

Titanium around us Read more »

Titanium has no biological role. The metal is regarded as hypoallergenic.

Titanium metal is not found as the free element. The element is the ninth most abundant in the earth's crust. It is usually present in igneous rocks and in the sediments derived from them. It is found in the minerals rutile (TiO2), ilmenite (FeTiO3), and sphene, and is present in titanates and in many iron ores. Deosits are located in North America, Australia, Scandinavia, and Malaysia.

Titanium is present in meteorites and has been detected in the sun. Some lunar rocks contain high concentrations of the dioxide. Titanium oxide bands are prominent in the spectra of M-type stars.

Abundances for cobalt in a number of different environments. More abundance data » »
Location ppb by weight ppb by atoms Links
Universe 3000 80 Abundance in the universe of the chemical elements displayed on a miniature periodic table
Crustal rocks 6600000 2900000 Abundance in the earth's crust of the chemical elements displayed on a miniature periodic table
Human (no data) ppb by weight (no data) atoms relative to C = 1000000 Abundance in humans of the chemical elements displayed on a miniature periodic table

Physical properties Read more »

Crystal structure Read more »

The solid state structure of titanium is: hcp (hexagonal close-packed).

Titanium: orbital properties Read more »

Titanium atoms have 22 electrons and the shell structure is The ground state electronic configuration of neutral Titanium is [Ar].3d2.4s2 and the term symbol of Titanium is 3F2.


Isolation: titanium is readily available from commercial sources so preparation in the laboratory is not normally required. In industry, reduction of ores with carbon is not a useful option as intractable carbides are produced. The Kroll method is used on large scales and involves the action of chlorine and carbon upon ilmenite (TiFeO3) or rutile (TiO2). The resultant titanium tetrachloride, TiCl4, is separated from the iron trichloride, FeCl3, by fractional distillation. Finally TiCl4 is reduced to metallic titanium by reduction with magnesium, Mg. Air is excluded so as to prevent contamination of the product with oxygen or nitrogen.

2TiFeO3 + 7Cl2 + 6C (900°C) → 2TiCl4 + 2FeCl3 + 6CO

TiCl4 + 2Mg (1100°C) → 2MgCl2 + Ti

Excess magensium and magneium dichloride is removed from the product bytreatment with water and hydrochloric acid to leave a titanium "sponge". This can be melted under a helium or argon atmosphere to allow casting as bars.

Titanium isotopes Read more »

The five stable Titanium isotopes are used for a wide range of studies and applications. Ti-48 is used for the production of the radioisotope V-48 which is used in nutritional studies and for calibrating PET instrumentation. Ti-47 is occasionally used as an alternative precursor for the production of V-48. Ti-50 is used in the production of super heavy elements whereby Lead or Bismuth targets are bombarded with Ti-50. Finally, Ti-49 is used in the production of the radioisotope V-49.

Table. Stables isotopes of cobalt.
Isotope Mass / Da Natural
(atom %)
spin (I)
moment (μ/μN)
46Ti 45.9526294 (14) 8.25 (3) 0
47Ti 46.9517640 (11) 7.44 (2) 5/2 -0.78848
48Ti 47.9479473 (11) 73.72 (3) 0
49Ti 48.9478711 (11) 5.41 (2) 7/2 -1.10417
50Ti 49.9447921 (12) 5.18 (2) 0

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