Symbol Zr 
Atomic Number 40
Atomic Mass 91.224 g.mol 1
Discovered by Martin Klaproth in the year 1798

Chemical Properties of Zirconium

Group 4 Melting point 1854°C, 3369°F, 2127 K
Period 5 Boiling point 4406°C, 7963°F, 4679 K
Block d Density (g cm3) 6.52
Atomic number 40 Relative atomic mass 91.224
State at 20°C Solid Key isotopes 90Zr, 92Zr, 94Zr
Electron configuration [Kr]4d5s2 CAS number 7440-67-7
ChemSpider ID 22431 ChemSpider is a free chemical structure database

What is Zirconium?

  • Zirconium (Zr) is a chemical element with atomic number 40 and represented with the chemical symbol ‘Zr’ in the periodic table.
  • It was discovered by Martin Klaproth in the year 1798. This is named after a mineral Zircon as it is the most important source of zirconium.

Physical properties of Zirconium

  • The element is a gray-white, lustrous, strong transition metal that forms a variety of organometallic and inorganic compounds.
  • It is highly resistant to corrosion and heat. The hardness of it is similar to that of copper and it is lighter than steel.
  • Zirconium is available in about 30 mineral species and its major source is Zircon. More than 1.5 million tonnes of Zircon are mined each year, mainly in South Africa and Australia.

Applications and Effects of Zirconium

  • The element is often used in high-temperature applications as it is highly resistant to heat.
  • Its main uses are conferring a white, opaque appearance to ceramic metal, opacifier.
  • It is used as an alloying agent in materials that are exposed to changing environment because of its corrosion resistant property.
  • It has many other uses that include surgical instruments, photographic flashbulbs and in making glass for televisions.
  • Space and aeronautic industries use Zirconium to manufacture high-temperature parts like blades, combustors, and vanes in jet engines.

Certain Health Facts About Zirconium

  • Scientists haven’t found any biological use of Zirconium till today.
  • It is observed that this element is a little toxic and estimated intake of a human being is 50 micrograms but not harmful for life.
  • Zirconium 95 is one among the harmful compounds and responsible for many types of cancers.

Practise This Question

The correct set of quantum numbers for the unpaired electron of chlorine atom (Z=17) is: