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(L. titans, the first sons of the Earth, mythology)
Discovered by Gregor in 1791; named by Klaproth in 1795. Impure titanium was preparedby Nilson and Pettersson in 1887; however, the pure metal (99.9%) was not made until 1910by Hunter by heating TiCl4with sodium in a steel bomb.
Titanium is present in meteorites and in the sun. Rocks obtained during the Apollo 17lunar mission showed presence of 12.1% TiO2 and rocks obtained during earlier Apollomissions show lower percentages.
Titanium oxide bands are prominent in the spectra of M-type stars. The element is theninth most abundant in the crust of the earth. Titanium is almost always present inigneous rocks and in the sediments derived from them.
It occurs in the minerals rutile, ilmenite, and sphene, and is present in titanates andin many iron ores. Titanium is present in the ash of coal, in plants, and in the humanbody.
The metal was a laboratory curiosity until Kroll, in 1946, showed that titanium couldbe produced commercially by reducing titanium tetrachloride with magnesium. This method is largely used for producingthe metal today. The metal can be purified by decomposing the iodide.