Chemistry of Manganese
Table of contents
In today's society, Manganese is one of the few elements that humans use on a daily basis. In 1774, a Swedish scientist named Johann Gottlieb Gahn was able to isolate manganese metal by reducing the compound of manganese dioxide. Remarkably enough, manganese has been used by humans throughout the centuries.
The Roman empire used manganese in their weapons and they were able to defeat their enemies. The hardness property of manganese helped them to create strong equipment for war. Furthermore, humans have been using manganese compounds centuries before human civilization began. The history of Manganese usage traces back to the stone age era, where nomads used it as a pigment to decorate their caves and sacred places. Manganese is an element that has helped and still helps humans to improve their personal lives in various ways.
History of Manganese
Where does it come from?
One may think of Manganese as initially being in metal form, however this is not the case. Manganese is not found in nature as the free metal we like to think of. Instead Manganese exists as minerals with the additions of oxides, silicates and carbonates added to the mix. Most Maganese is obtained from ores found in locations all over the world. Manganese is also known to to lie on the ocean floor in the form of nodules, which are large lumps of metallic ores.
The atomic structure of Manganese includes four electron subshells.
More properties of Manganese:
Reactions of Manganese in the world around us
Manganese is very chemically active and it has the ability to react with various elements in chemistry which we see on a day to day basis that allow for its diversity in function and uses. Because of its valence electron configuration, it allows us to use it in different and unique ways that typically other elements cannot be used in.
Manganese and Air
By its location on the periodic table, Manganese is a little less electronegative than its neighbors which makes it a little less reactive to air. Manganese metal has the ability to burn in the presence of oxygen to form Mn3O4.
3Mn(s) + 2O2(g) → Mn3O4(s)
Manganese and Nitrogen
Manganese can react in the presence of nitrogen, which is also found in the air, to form Mn3N2.
3Mn(s) + N2(g) → Mn3N2(s)
Manganese and Water
When everything is considered under normal conditions, Manganese is not reactive with water
Manganese and Acids
Manganese dissolves readily in acidic solutions
Manganese and Halogens
Manganese reacts with the halogens of group 17 to form Manganese (II) halides. An example would be if manganese reacted with chlorine, manganese (II) chloride would form. A few example reactions are shown below, but reactions with other halogens such as with fluorine are similar.
Mn(s) + Cl2(g) → MnCl2(s)
Mn(s) + Br2(g) → MnBr2(s)
Mn(s) + I2(g) → MnI2(s)
Nuclear chemistry of Manganese
Just like many other elements in the periodic table, specifically metals, manganese is also able to form isotopes. More isotopes than the ones listed exist. However those not shown in the table are isotopes whose half-life occur to quickly to be easily found.
Uses of Manganese in our world today
Health and biology
The use of manganese in the personal health of humans and in medicine today is still as important as ever. Although many people may be wary of the importance to consume important minerals along with vitamins, many are not too familiar with the importance of the consumption of Manganese in the human diet. The existence of Manganese in the body is vital to processes on the cellular level. Without it, enzymes that are vital to life are disrupted and can cause complications in health. For example, manganese aids in the formation of connective tissue in our bodies, without it or with minimal amounts, ligaments and muscles for example are less flexible and injuries can occur more readily. However, if too much manganese is consumed then health problems such as weakness, drowsiness and even paralysis may occur. Luckily, consuming too much manganese is very rare and usually occurs to those working in mines or factories that may inhale manganese dust.
Industry and technology
The presence of Manganese in industries such as the steel industry is crucial to the success of this industry in specific. If we look back to the history of manganese presented in the beginning of this module, we can see that the use of Manganese in steel is not something recent but something from the late 1700's. Nevertheless it is still a method used today for its effects on the quality and properties of steel. Manganese is used to form an alloy in the steel which in turn results in better properties such as toughness, stiffness, wear resistance, hardness and most important strength. Manganese also helps improve the rolling and forging qualities of steel. Manganese is also responsible for coloring glass a shade of purple and can also be used in industries where glass impurities evolve due to iron impurities as Manganese can return the glass back to its normal color.
In technology, although not modern technology and as was done in 1868, Manganese is used in the invention of dry cells. It is the dioxide formed by Manganese that is used to depolarize.
1. Write out the chemical reaction between manganese and the halogen fluorine.
1. Mn(s) + F2(g) → MnF2(s)
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