|Name: cobalt||Group number: 9|
|Symbol: Co||Group name: (none)|
|Atomic number: 27||Period number: 4|
|Atomic weight: 58.933200 (9)||Block: d-block|
|CAS Registry ID: 7440-48-4||Voice: |
|Standard state: solid at 298 K||Colour: lustrous, metallic, greyish tinge|
|Classification: Metallic||Availability: |
This sample is from The Elements Collection, an attractive and safely packaged collection of the 92 naturally occurring elements that is available for sale.
Marmite, which we all eat here in England and which is what makes us English, is a source of vitamin B12, actually a compound containing cobalt. The equivalent, but altogether blander, in Australia is Vegemite. Marmite is available in the USA. Try mixing it with peanut butter.
Cobalt is a brittle, hard, transition metal with magnetic properties similar to those of iron. Cobalt is present in meteorites. Ore deposits are found in Zaire, Morocco and Canada. Cobalt-60 (60Co) is an artificially produced isotope used as a source of g rays (high energy radiation). Cobalt salts colour glass a beautiful deep blue colour.
Nearing Zero cartoon included by kind permission of Nick Kim.
IsolationHere is a brief summary of the isolation of cobalt.
It is not normally necessary to make cobalt in the laboratory as it is available readily commercially. Many ores contain cobalt but not many are of economic importance. These include the sulphides and arsenides linnaeite, Co3S4, cobaltite, CoAsS, and smaltite, CoAs2. Industrially, however, it is normally produced as a byproduct from the produstion of copper, nickel, and lead.
Normally the ore is "roasted" to form a mixture of metals and metal oxides. Treatment with sulphuric acid leaves metallic copper as a residue and disolves out iron, cobalt, and nickel as the sulphates. Iron is obtained by precipitation with lime (CaO) while cobalt is produced as the hydroxide by precipitation with sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl)
2Co2+(aq) + NaOCl(aq) + 4OH-(aq) + H2O 2Co(OH)3(s) + NaCl(aq)
The trihydroxide Co(OH)3 is heated to form the oxide and then reduced with carbon (as charcoal) to form cobalt metal.
2Co(OH)3 (heat) Co2O3 + 3H2O
2Co2O3 + 3C Co + 3CO2