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Unleashing the Power of Molybdenum: From Industry to Health

Molybdenum: Properties and Uses

Molybdenum is a chemical element that is characterized by its strength, durability, and high melting point. It is used in a variety of industrial applications, as well as in enzymes that play key roles in human metabolism.

In this article, we will delve into the properties and uses of molybdenum, examining its physical and chemical characteristics, as well as its applications in various fields.

Chemical Properties of Molybdenum

Physical Properties

Molybdenum is a silvery-white metal that is characterized by its high melting point of 2,623C (4,753F). It is also highly resistant to corrosion and wear, making it an ideal material for use in manufacturing processes.

In addition to its high melting point, molybdenum is also known for its ability to form carbides, which are compounds made of carbon and molybdenum. These carbides are incredibly strong and heat-resistant, making them ideal for use in cutting tools and other applications that require toughness and durability.

Another important physical property of molybdenum is its solubility. Molybdenum is insoluble in water, but it can be dissolved in acids such as hydrochloric acid or aqua regia.

This property makes it easy to extract molybdenum from its ores, which are typically found in the form of molybdenite (MoS2).

Position on Periodic Table

Molybdenum is located in group 6 of the periodic table, along with chromium (Cr) and tungsten (W). It has an atomic number of 42 and an atomic weight of 95.94.

Molybdenum has a relatively high electronegativity and a density of 10.28 g/cm. Its radius is approximately 139 pm, and it has seven isotopes, with the most common being Mo-98 and Mo-100.

Molybdenum has six electrons in its outermost electronic shell and an ionization energy of 684.3 kJ/mol. It can have various oxidation states ranging from -2 to +6.

Other Identifiers

Molybdenum has a CAS Number of 7439-98-7 and a ChemSpider ID of 23930.

State at Room Temperature

At room temperature, molybdenum is a solid metal that exhibits paramagnetism, which means that it is weakly attracted to magnetic fields.

Uses of Molybdenum

Applications in Industries

Molybdenum has many industrial applications, especially in the production of alloys. It is often used as a component in steel alloys to increase their strength, hardness, and corrosion resistance.

Molybdenum is also used in making aircraft and missile parts, as well as in manufacturing high-temperature furnace parts and electrical contacts. Molybdenum is also a key component in catalysts used in the petrochemical industry, where it helps to convert sulfur and nitrogen compounds into less harmful substances.

It is also used as a lubricant in industrial machinery, thanks to its high melting point and ability to form strong carbides. Finally, molybdenum is used as a colorant in certain pigments, such as molybdate orange.

Role in Enzymes

Molybdenum also plays a critical role in human metabolism. It is a cofactor in several enzymes that are involved in converting the amino acid methionine into cysteine, a process that is essential for the synthesis of proteins and other important biochemicals.

Molybdenum-containing enzymes are also involved in the breakdown of nitrogen-containing compounds, such as purines and pyrimidines, which are found in DNA and RNA. Lastly, molybdenum is required for the function of sulfite oxidase, an enzyme that helps to remove sulfites from the body.


Molybdenum is a versatile and useful element that is used in many industries, as well as in several important biochemical processes in the human body. Its high melting point, strength, and durability make it particularly well-suited for use in manufacturing processes, while its role in enzymes underlines its vital importance in human health.

As we continue to discover new applications for molybdenum, it will undoubtedly remain a critical element in both industrial and biological settings. Molybdenum: Importance in Industry and Health

Although it may not be a household name, molybdenum is an important element that plays a critical role in both industry and human health.

From its use in steel alloys to its presence in essential enzymes, molybdenum has a wide range of applications that underscore its vital importance.

Uses in Industry

One of the most important uses of molybdenum is in the production of steel alloys. When added to steel in small amounts, molybdenum can significantly increase its strength, hardness, and corrosion resistance.

This makes molybdenum a valuable component in the production of heavy-duty machinery, aircraft parts, and military hardware. Molybdenum’s strength and durability also make it a valuable material in the production of furnace parts and electrical contacts that must endure extremely high temperatures.

Moreover, molybdenum is frequently used in the petrochemical industry as a catalyst to help remove unwanted sulfur and nitrogen compounds from hydrocarbons. Aside from its applications in steel production and petrochemicals, molybdenum finds use in several other industrial processes.

It is a key component in certain types of lubricants, as it can help minimize friction and increase the longevity of moving parts. Molybdenum is also used in certain pigments, where it imparts a distinctive orange color.

Finally, molybdenum is used in the production of certain electronic devices and semiconductors.

Enzymatic Role

Molybdenum plays an essential role in human metabolism through its association with various enzymes. In particular, molybdenum is crucial to the functioning of enzymes that are involved in the conversion of sulfur and nitrogenous compounds.

One of the most important of these enzymes is sulfite oxidase, which helps to break down excess sulfites in the body. Sulfites are commonly used as preservatives in food and drink and can cause adverse reactions in some people.

Molybdenum is a cofactor in several other enzymes that help to break down nitrogen-containing compounds, such as purines and pyrimidines. These compounds are essential building blocks of DNA and RNA, and their breakdown is necessary for the maintenance of healthy cell function.

One such amino acid is Methionine, which is converted to cysteine, another amino acid, with the help of molybdenum-containing enzymes.

Other Health Benefits

Beyond its critical role in metabolic processes, molybdenum may offer other health benefits as well. Research has shown that molybdenum may play a role in preventing certain types of cancer, including esophageal cancer and liver cancer.

This effect is thought to be due to the ability of molybdenum to detoxify certain carcinogenic substances found in food and the environment. Molybdenum is also beneficial in preventing the onset or worsening of gout.

Gout is a form of arthritis caused by the buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints, which leads to inflammation and pain. Molybdenum helps to break down purines, which are converted to uric acid in the body, thus reducing the likelihood of gout.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, while molybdenum may not be one of the most well-known elements, its importance cannot be overstated. From its role in strengthening steel alloys to its crucial role in human metabolism, molybdenum has a wide range of both industrial and biological applications.

Further research may uncover even more ways in which molybdenum can be used to benefit human health and improve industrial processes. Molybdenum is a chemical element with a variety of applications in industry and human health.

Its physical and chemical properties, including its high melting point and solubility, make it a useful material in many industrial processes. Moreover, its crucial role in enzymes that regulate nitrogen and sulfur metabolism highlights its essential role in human health.

Further research may uncover even more benefits of molybdenum and its applications in a wide range of fields, underscoring its importance as an element that has impacted human civilization for centuries. FAQs:


What is molybdenum used for in industry? Molybdenum is used in the production of steel alloys for their strength, hardness, and corrosion resistance and is a crucial part of furnace parts and electrical contacts that must function at high temperatures.

2. What is the role of molybdenum in human health?

Molybdenum is a cofactor in several enzymes that are involved in breaking down sulfur and nitrogen-containing compounds. Its role in the functioning of sulfite oxidase is essential for metabolizing excess sulfites in the body, preventing reactions in some people.

3. What other health benefits does molybdenum offer?

Research suggests that molybdenum may have an impact on preventing certain types of cancer such as liver cancer and may reduce the risk of developing gout by breaking down purines to reduce uric acid buildup. 4.

What are the other applications of molybdenum? Molybdenum is also used in electronic devices, as a catalyst and lubricant in petrochemicals, in pigments, and semiconductors.

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