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What is Titanium

Titanium (pronunciation: ti-TAY-nee-em) is a hard, shiny, strong, and lightweight element classified as a transition metal and represented by the chemical symbol Ti [1, 2, 3]. As compared to the other ferromagnetic elements, titanium is a weakly magnetic metal that shows its magnetic characteristics in the presence of external magnetic fields [4].

Titanium Symbol


There are five stable naturally-occurring isotopes of titanium, including Titanium-46, Titanium-47, Titanium-48, Titanium-49, and Titanium-50, with Titanium-48 having the greatest natural abundance of 73.8% [5]. Titanium is characterized by 21 radioisotopes out of which the most stable are Titanium-44, Titanium-45, Titanium-51, and Titanium-52 with half-lives of 60 years, 184.8 minutes, 5.76 minutes, and 1.7 minutes respectively [5].

Where is Titanium Found

As the 9th most abundant element in the Earth’s crust, titanium is commonly found in igneous rocks and their sediments [1]. It is present in minerals like rutile (titanium dioxide), ilmenite (titanium-iron oxide), and sphene (calcium titanium nesosilicate), as well as in titanate (titanium oxide) and several iron ores [1].

It is commercially extracted from its ore through reduction of titanium (IV) chloride using either sodium or magnesium [1]. Titanium (IV) oxide is obtained from ilmenite by using either chlorine (chloride process) or sulfuric acid (sulfate process) [1].

The top 3 titanium producers are Canada, Australia, and South Africa while the top 3 titanium reserve holding countries include China, Australia, and India [1].



Origin of its Name: The name is derived from the word ‘Titan’, which in Greek mythology means “the sons of the Goddess Earth” [1, 2].

Who discovered it: Titanium was found by the British mineralogist and clergyman William Gregor [1].

When and How was it Discovered

In 1791, the titanium mineral menaccanite was found in Cornwall by William Gregor [1]. He studied it and inferred that it consisted of iron oxide along with a new metal, which he reported to the Royal Geological Society [1].

The German chemist Martin Heinrich Klaproth, in 1795, analyzed a red mineral ore called Schörl [1]. It was the oxide of an unknown element which Klaproth named titanium [1]. After learning about Gregor’s discovery, Klaproth examined menaccanite and confirmed that it was made up of titanium [1].

M.A. Hunter, the metallurgist from New Zealand, produced pure titanium metal from titanium tetrachloride and sodium metal in 1910 [1].

Titanium Identification

Atomic number 22 [1]
CAS number 7440-32-6 [1]
Position in the periodic table Group Period Block
  4 [1] 4 [1] d [1]

Where is Titanium Found on the Periodic Table

Properties and Characteristics of Titanium

General Properties

Relative atomic mass 47.867 [1]
Atomic mass 47.867 amu [1]
Molar mass 47.8670 g/mol [6]
Molecular weight 47.867 g/mol [7]

Physical Properties

Color Silvery-white [8]
Melting point/freezing point 1670 °C, 3038 °F [1]
Boiling point 3287 °C, 5949 °F [1]
Density 4.506 g cm-3 [1]
State of matter at room temperature (solid/liquid/gas) Solid [1, 8]
– Brinell 715 MPa [9]
– Mohs 6 [9]
– Vickers 970 MPa [9]
Electrical Conductivity 2.5 X 106 S/m [9]
Charge +3, +4 [10]
Thermal (heat) conductivity 22 W/(m K) [9]
Specific heat 524 J kg-1 K-1 [1]
Bulk modulus Unknown [1]
Shear modulus 43.8 GPa [1]
Young’s modulus 115.7 GPa [1]
Vapor pressure
– Temperature (K) 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 2200 2400
– Pressure (Pa) 9.69 X 10-9 7.44 X 10-6 1.06 X 10-3 0.0493 0.978 10.6 76.9

Chemical Properties

Oxidation states 4, 3 [1]
Isotopes Isotope Mass Abundance (%) Half-life Mode of decay
  46Ti 45.953 8.25
  47Ti 46.952 7.44
  48Ti 47.948 73.72
  49Ti 48.948 5.41
  50Ti 49.945 5.18

Titanium Lewis Dot Structure

Atomic Data of Titanium (Element 22)

Valence electrons 4 [11]
Quantum numbers
– n 3 [12]
– ℓ 2 [12]
– m -1 [12]
– ms +1/2 [12]
Electron configuration (noble gas configuration) [Ar] 3d24s2 [1]
Atomic structure
– Number of electrons 22 [8]
– Number of neutrons 26 [8]
– Number of protons 22 [8]
Radius of Atom
Atomic radius 2.11 Å [1]
– Covalent radius 1.48 Å [1]
Electronegativity (Pauling-scale) 1.54 [1]
Electron affinity 7.622 kJ mol-1 [1]
Ionization energy (kJ mol-1) 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th
  658.813 1309.837 2652.546 4174.651 9581 11532.89 13585.1 16441.1

Titanium Electron Configuration (Bohr Model)

What is Titanium Used for

  • Titanium forms important alloys with other metals, including molybdenum, iron, and aluminum, that are used in missiles, aircraft, and spacecraft due to their low density and high-temperature resistance [1, 8].
  • Although it is as strong as steel, it has a much lesser density because of which it is commonly used in laptops, golf clubs, crutches, and bicycles [1, 8].
  • Since they resist corrosion, titanium pipes are used in power plant condensers [1].
  • As it has excellent corrosion resistance in seawater, it is widely used for propeller shafts, hulls of ships, submarines, and in desalination plants [1, 8].
  • Titanium has many surgical applications, including its use in hip joint replacements and tooth implants [1, 8].
  • Since its pigment has great covering power, it is used in plastics, artists’ paint, house paint, enamels, and paper [1].
  • It is used in solar observatories because of its excellent infrared-radiation reflective properties [1].
  • Titanium oxide is an essential ingredient in sunscreens, used for protecting the skin from UV light [1].

Toxicity and Health Effects

While pure titanium is considered non-toxic, exposure to large amounts of titanium dioxide dust may be hazardous [1]. Although the safety of nano-TiO2 is unclear, studies have shown that it may damage the liver, kidney, brain, and lung functions when it is inhaled or taken in high doses [13]. It can also be toxic to embryos in development [13]. Titanium is not known to play any biological role [1].

Titanium Orbital Diagram

Interesting Facts

  • Every igneous rock (that is formed due to the cooling and solidification of lava) consists of titanium [3].
  • According to Boeing, the 737 Dreamliner comprises 15 percent titanium [3].
  • A 2011-satellite-image revealed titanium-rich rocks on the moon’s surface [3].
  • The graphical representation of titanium indicates an early votive statue based on the Titans in Greek mythology [1].

Titanium Price

The cost of pure titanium is about $6.61 per gram [8].



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