Occurrence and characteristics of transition metals

d and f Block Elements

Occurrence and characteristics of transition metals

The transition elements have characteristic properties that are associated with all the metals having incomplete d sublevels. They collectively have variable oxidation states which means that they form complex ions with ligands, have coloured compounds, and display catalytic and magnetic properties. The d-block elements are typical metals such as iron and copper having traditional metallic traits.

Ancient civilizations used iron, copper, silver, and gold for their household purposes and weaponry. It can also be seen in how the time periods in human history known are defined as the Bronze Age and Iron Age. The use of these metals mark the advancements in which societies learned to isolate certain metals and use them to make tools and goods. Naturally occurring ores of copper, silver, and gold contain a high percentage of these metals in elemental form. Iron occurs on earth in its oxidized forms (FeO &Fe2O3). The earliest known iron implements were made from iron meteorites. Iron smelting is a process that enables users to extract a pure element from its naturally occurring ores and for iron tools to become common.

In general, the transition elements like Iron are extracted from minerals that are found in a variety of ores. However, the ease of their recovery varies widely, depending on the concentration of the element in the ore, the identity of the other elements present, and the difficulty of reducing the element to the free metal. It is certainly not difficult to reduce ions of the d-block elements in order to obtain the free element. Carbon is a sufficiently strong reducing agent in most cases. The elements of the first row of d-block elements have similar chemical and physical properties and these elements find several industrial applications.

Element Electronic configuration Oxidation state Uses
Scandium [Ar]4s23d1 +3  Aluminum-scandium alloys in aerospace industry. Mercury vapor lamps, tracer in oil refining
Titanium [Ar]4s23d2 +4 Strong, light, corrosion-resistant, white pigments, steel alloys, ore is rutile
Vanadium [Ar]4s23d3 +2, +3, +4, +5 Catalysts, steel alloys
Chromium [Ar]4s13d5 +2, +3, +6 Colorful, Cr2O72− OA, stainless steel, chrome plating
Manganese [Ar]4s23d5 +2, +4, +7 MnO4 OA, MnO2 catalyst, Mn steels
Iron [Ar]4s23d6 +2, +3 Ores are hematite, magnetite, and pyrite (fool’s gold), steel, hemoglobin, blast furnace, magnetic
Cobalt [Ar]4s23d7 +2, +3 Blue cobalt glass, , AlNiCo, magnetic
Nickel [Ar]4s23d8 +2 Coins, AlNiCo, Monel, magnetic
Copper [Ar]4s13d10 +1, +2 brass, bronze, coins, patina, electric wires, ores are chalcocite, chalcopyrite and malachite, unreactive w/ HCl and H2SO4 but very reactive w/HNO3
Zinc [Ar]4s23d10 +2 Coins, brass, biochemistry, RA
Gold [Xe]6s14f145d10 +1, +3 Coins, jewellery, soft as a pure metal, alloys are harder, CN used to extract Au from ores
Silver [Kr]5s14d10 +1 Coins, jewelry, most electrically conductive of all metals
Mercury [Xe]6s24f145d10 +1, +2 Quicksilver, poisonous, “mad as a hatter”, Minimata



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