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     42    

42 Mo Molybdenum

Transition metal, mass: 95.94 u, 6 stable isotopes (92, 94-98), abundance rank (earth/space): 39/44

Click image to magnify. Pure molybdenum crystal, about 20 grams. The front side is slightly oxidized, on the back side a piece is broken off. Original size in cm: 1.5 x 3
Molybdenum crystal Molybdenum crystal with break.
Molybdenum is one of the most heavy elements of those essential to life. Most remarkable is the enzyme nitrogenase with molybdenum in its active center, which allows some bacteria to process nitrogen from the air. In elemental form, the hard, heavy and ductile metal is used for many special technical applications, like for the tempering of steel.

Molybdenum rough surface Molybdenite
Left: Molybdenum with rough, oxidized surface.
Right: Molybdenite, molybdenum sulfide, MoS2, 1 x 1.5 cm. This soft mineral is the most important ore for the mining of molybdenum and rhenium.


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