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Element Titanium, Ti, Transition Metal

Occurrence of Titanium

Titanium occurs in the crust of the earth in the form of its dioxide, TiO2, which, like silica, is either in the free state or combined with metallic oxides, forming titanates.

Impure titanium dioxide is found in three distinct crystalline forms as rutile, brookite, and anatase; ilmenite or titanic iron ore is FeTiO3; and besides these there are perofskite, (Ca,Fe'')TiO3, titanite or sphene, CaTiSiO5, schorlomite, Ca(Ti,Fe)SiO5, and keilhauite, CaY(Ti,Al,Fe)SiO5.

Titanium is also widely diffused through many other minerals and rocks. Some iron ores contain this element, which appears in the blast-furnace, after the smelting of these ores, as the cyano-nitride. Titanium is also found in basalt, trap, mica, and other igneous rocks, in sand, clays, soils, and mineral waters. Ninety soils, collected from different parts of the world, contained an average of 0.57 per cent. TiO2. Igneous rocks contain an average of 0.74 per cent, of TiO2, shales 0.65 per cent., sandstones 0.25 per cent., limestones 0.06 per cent., the whole lithosphere containing 0.73 per cent, of this oxide; whilst the element titanium follows oxygen, silicon, aluminium, iron, calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, hydrogen in relative abundance in the crust of the earth, and is followed by chlorine, carbon, phosphorus, sulphur, etc. The wide diffusion of titanium in the soil accounts for its passing into the tissues of plants and animals.. The ashes of all plants contain it; in the ash of oak, e.g., Wait found 0.31 per cent. TiO2; also it is present in the flesh and bone of animals, including man; and Baskerville found ox bone to contain 0.0195 per cent. TiO2. Titanium has also been detected in some meteorites, in the sun, and in many stars.

History of Titanium

In the year 1789 the Rev. William Gregor discovered that a mineral, named ilmenite, or menachanite from the part of Cornwall in which it occurs, contained a hitherto unknown metal. A few years later Klaproth discovered titanium in rutile, and showed that this was also the element present in ilmenite. Other titanium minerals were examined by Lampadius, Lowitz, and Vauquelin; but Rose first obtained pure titanium dioxide in 1821. Early attempts were made to prepare metallic titanium by reducing the oxide with carbon; and the product was mistaken for the element on account of its metallic appearance until Wohler, in 1849, proved it to be titanium cyano-nitride. So difficult is the preparation of metallic titanium that it is doubtful if the element has even yet been obtained in the pure state.


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