Molybdenum – Periodic Table (Element Information & More)

Molybdenum (Mo) element Periodic table

This is a SUPER easy guide on Molybdenum element.

In fact, the table mentioned below is the perfect information box (Which gives you every single detail about the Molybdenum element in Periodic table.)

So if you want to know anything about Molybdenum element, then this guide is for you.

Let’s finish this very quickly.

Molybdenum Element (Mo) Information

Appearance of Molybdenum appearance of molybdenum element
Grey metallic luster
State of Molybdenum at STPSolid
Position of Molybdenum in Periodic tableMolybdenum in periodic table (Position)
Group: 6, Period: 5, Block: d
Category of Molybdenum elementmolybdenum element category
Transition metals
Atomic number of Molybdenum, or 
Protons in Molybdenum
42
Neutrons in Molybdenum54
Electrons in Molybdenum42
Symbol of MolybdenumMo
Atomic mass of Molybdenum Molybdenum (Mo) atomic mass
96.95 u
Electrons arrangement in Molybdenum

or 

Bohr model of Molybdenum
Bohr model of molybdenum (Electrons arrangement in molybdenum, Mo)
2, 8, 18, 13, 1
Electronic configuration of Molybdenum[Kr] 4d5 5s1
Atomic radius of MolybdenumMolybdenum (Mo) atomic radius
209 picometers (van der Waals radius)
1st Ionization energy of Molybdenum7.092 eV
Electronegativity of Molybdenum Electronegativity of molybdenum (Mo)
2.16 (Pauling scale)
Crystal structure of Molybdenumcrystal structure of molybdenum
BCC (Body centered cubic)
Melting point of Molybdenum2896 K or 2623 °C or 4753 °F
Boiling point of Molybdenum4912 K or 4639 °C or 8382 °F
Density of Molybdenum10.28 g/cm3
Main isotopes of Molybdenum95Mo, 96Mo, 98Mo
Who discovered Molybdenum and when?Who discovered molybdenum and when?
Carl Wilhelm Scheele in 1778
CAS number7439-98-7

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Molybdenum in Periodic table

Molybdenum element is in group 6 and period 5 of the Periodic table. Molybdenum is the d-block element and it belongs to Transition metals group.

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Why is Molybdenum in Period 5?

Why is Molybdenum in Period 5

Let me ask you a question.

How many shells does molybdenum have?

It’s 5. Right? 

You have already seen the bohr model of molybdenum atom in the above table.

From the Bohr model, it can be found that the number of orbits or shells in molybdenum is 5. Hence, as molybdenum has 5 orbits, it lies in period 5 of the Periodic table.

Why is Molybdenum in d-block?

Why is Molybdenum in d-block

Before knowing this reason, first of all I want to ask you a simple question.

How can you determine the blocks-wise position of elements?

The simple answer: The elements will lie in the s, p, d or f block will completely depend upon the subshell in which the last electron will enter.

For example; the electron configuration of molybdenum is [Kr] 5s1 4d5.

So the last electron of molybdenum enters the d-subshell or d-orbital. 

Hence, molybdenum is the d-block element.

Is Molybdenum a Transition Metal? Why?

Is Molybdenum a Transition Metal

Yes, Molybdenum is a transition metal because it has incompletely filled d-orbital in its ground state.

Let me explain the exact meaning of this.

According to the definition of transition metals;
The element should compulsorily have incomplete d-orbitals, either in their ground state (M) or most common oxidation states (M1+, M2+, etc) then only they are called transition metals.

Now, the ground state of molybdenum means its normal state in which it has neither gained nor lost any electron/s.

So the ground state of molybdenum is Mo.

And the ground state electronic configuration of molybdenum is [Kr] 5s1 4d5.

In this state, if we see the electron configuration of molybdenum, then it possesses incomplete d-orbitals.

electron configuration of molybdenum

Because, there are only five electrons in the d-orbitals. 

In order to have the complete d-orbitals, there must be 10 electrons in it.

But in the ground state electronic configuration of molybdenum, you can see that it has only 5 electrons in d-orbitals.

Thus, molybdenum has incomplete d-orbitals.

And hence, as molybdenum has incomplete d-orbitals, it is considered as a transition metal.

9 Interesting facts about Molybdenum

Interesting facts about molybdenum element are mentioned below.

  1. The name molybdenum was derived from the Greek word “molybdos” (which means lead).
  2. The proportion of molybdenum in the earth’s crust is 1.2 ppm by weight.
  3. Molybdenum is the 54th most common element in the earth’s crust.
  4. China is the leading producer of molybdenum ore in the world.
  5. Molybdenum is the micronutrient present in plants as well as animals. [1]
  6. The annual production of molybdenum in the world is around 200,000 tons. [2]
  7. Before the discovery of molybdenum, its mineral molybdenite was mistaken as graphite or lead ore.
  8. Density of  molybdenum is approximately half of that of tungsten.
  9. Almost 80% of the molybdenum is used in production of steels.

Properties of Molybdenum

The physical and chemical properties of molybdenum element are mentioned below.

Physical properties of Molybdenum

Physical properties of molybdenum are mentioned below.

  • Molybdenum is a solid metal having Grey metallic lustre.
  • The melting point of molybdenum is 2623 °C and its boiling point is 4639 °C.
  • The atomic mass of molybdenum is 96.95 u and its density is 10.28 g/cm3.
  • Molybdenum has many isotopes, but out of them the common isotopes are 95Mo (15.8 %), 96Mo (16.6 %), and 98Mo (24.3 %).

Chemical properties of Molybdenum

Chemical properties of molybdenum are mentioned below.

  • Molybdenum has incomplete d-orbitals and hence it is classified as a transition metal on the periodic table.
  • Molybdenum has many oxidation states and hence it can easily form compounds with other elements.
  • Molybdenum does not react with water at room temperature, but it reacts with it at higher temperatures (above 600 °C) and forms molybdenum trioxide.

Uses of Molybdenum

Uses of molybdenum are mentioned below.

  • Molybdenum is used as an alloying element with other metals to increase its strength, hardness and other properties.
  • Molybdenum is also used in manufacturing of engine parts, missiles, drills , saw blades, etc.
  • Molybdenum is generally available in a powdered form and it is also used in powder metallurgy.
  • Molybdenum is also used in glass melting electrodes as it can resist high temperature.
  • Molybdenum is also used as a catalyst in petroleum industries.

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References:
Chemical data: Wikipedia, Chemspider
Molybdenum element: Image credits- wikimedia commons

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