Manganese is a transition metal that has a silvery grey white metallic color in its natural solid state. It is a hard, brittle, element that is easily oxidized. Manganese has an atomic weight of 54.938045, a melting point of 2275 °F, and a boiling point of 3742 °F. Some common uses of manganese include: as a component in metallic alloys, as a dioxide used to produced oxygen and chlorine, for use in iron and steel production, and as an ingredient in some types of stainless steel.
Manganese is found freely in nature, but there are isolation processes that are used to isolate manganese for industrial purposes.
Manganese that is isolated comes from minerals such as pyrolusite, (MnO2), and rhodochrosite, (MnCO3). Pyrolusite is a mineral which is composed mainly of manganese dioxide, and rhodochrosite is a mineral composed of manganese carbonate.
Magnesium was first isolated by using electrolysis on manganese chloride; the electrolysis process was carried out by placing the manganese chloride in a porous cell which was surrounded by hydrochloric acid in a carbon crucible.
Other reduction methods reduce manganese fluoride through using the metal sodium. The thermite process has been used to isolate manganese from pyrolusite by heating the mineral in proportion with 30% sulphuric acid; manganous oxide is produced after this process through heating, cooling, and heating steps using aluminum in the final step. Lime and fluorspar is used as the flux in this process. Another isolation method isolates a very pure form of manganese by reducing manganese and mercury containing alloys, or amalgams, with hydrogen.
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