What is Molybdenum

Molybdenum is an essential mineral and chemical element. Molybdenum in the periodic table stands at 42nd atomic number. In 1778, Carl Wilhelm Scheele had found this element. The name of the element is derived from the Greek word, “Molybdos”. Molybdos define lead in the Greek language. You can find this mineral in foods like cereal grains, milk, cheese, legumes, leafy vegetables, nuts, and organ meats.

The colour of the Molybdenum is silvery white. It is the pure element with the highest melting point, and it is a hard transition metal. Acids can attack the part slowly. Molybdenum is useful for the protein breakdown in the body, and deficiency of this mineral is uncommon. Well, Molybdenum is used for cancer disease of the oesophagus and Wilson diseases, but no positive evidence is found for the same.

Furthermore, you will be surprised with the information about molybdenum atomic number and various isotopes ranging from 83 - 117. It has nearly 35 isotopes. Mo and Mo2+4 are the symbols and the chemical formula of mineral molybdenum, respectively.

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Molybdenum In Periodic Table

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Molybdenum in Periodic Table And Electronic Configuration 

Molybdenum Symbol


Atomic Number


Atomic Mass


Discovered by

Molybdenum was discovered by Peter Jacob Hjelm


Electronic Configuration of Molybdenum

When you know the basic rules for electron configuration of the element while studying the atomic table, you can find any element’s electron configuration easily. The electron configuration of Molybdenum is not different from that. When you notice the Molybdenum in the periodic table, you will find the atomic number of Molybdenum that is 42

According to rules,

In the first orbit: 2 electrons

In the second orbit: 8 electrons

In the third orbit: 18 electrons

In the fourth orbit: 13 electrons

In the fifth orbit: 1 electron

Or we can say, 1s2 2s2p6 3s2p6d10 4s2p6d5 5s1 or [Kr]4d55s1


Melting point

2622°C, 4752°F, 2895 K 


Boiling point

4639°C, 8382°F, 4912 K 


Density (g cm−3)


Atomic number


Relative atomic mass


State at 20°C


Key isotopes

95Mo, 96Mo, 98Mo 

Electron configuration

[Kr] 4d55s1 

CAS number


Facts About Molybdenum

  • It is the corrosion resistance and ductile mineral.

  • It is an essential micronutrient for our body

  • It forms many compounds by chemical reaction with other elements easily.

  • You can not find the free form of this element in nature.

  • It contains the 1.2 ppm (parts per million) of the earth crust.

  • Molybdenum disulfide (molybdenite) is the molybdenum ore and can be found in powellite (calcium molybdate) and wulfenite (lead molybdate).

  • It can be obtained while tungsten mining or copper mining.

  • According to RSC (Royal Society Of Chemistry), it is produced 200,000 tons every year worldwide.

  • From the crust of the earth, it is the 54th common mineral that is founded.

  • A soft and black mineral that is called Molybdenum or Molybdenite was used in pencils in ancient times.

  • Nitrogenous enzymes are essential enzymes that contain this mineral and helpful in proper utilization and systemization of protein.

Abundance of Molybdenum

Seawater/p.p.m.: 0.01

Earth's Crust/p.p.m.: 1.5

Atmosphere/p.p.m.: N/A

Sun (Relative to H=1E12): 145

Molybdenum Uses

It has better strength at a higher temperature, and so it is a better alloying agent. In the manufacturing of steel material, this element is used to increase the strength of steel. Furthermore, it is also applicable in the engines’ production.

Deficiency of Molybdenum is uncommon, but doctors advise to have cauliflower in the diet to maintain the level of the mineral in our body. Cauliflower is a source of Molybdenum because fertilizers used for such plants have plenty of molybdenum minerals.

In the petroleum industry, the Mo mineral is used as a catalyst agent.

Health Effects of Molybdenum

Well, it is said that an excess amount of Molybdenum is toxic and even some of the molybdenum compounds are highly toxic. Some animal experiments have proved the poisonous nature of Mo and Mo compounds. Workers working in the Soviet Mo-Cu plant had recorded the liver dysfunction health issue. Furthermore, some workers had seen gout signs. People living in Armenia also notice the gout signs because Armenia is a Mo-rich landscape. Some of the health issues were recorded like hands, feet, joints, erythema, articular deformities, and knee pains.

Environmental Effects of Molybdenum

All the species need Mo mineral in an adequate amount like other trace minerals. It would severely affect the intake of large doses or excess amounts of Mo mineral. Fetal deformities can arise because of the toxic effect of excess Molybdenum. Furthermore, fodder should have less than ten ppm of Mo mineral.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Question 1: State the Molybdenum Compounds With Their Uses

Answer: Molybdenum can quickly react with other elements and form various useful chemical compounds accordingly. Here are some helpful molybdenum compounds.

Molybdenum Sulphide: Used as petroleum-based oils and lubricants that are high tempered. It has a tremendous temperature resistivity.

Calcium Molybdate, molybdenum-chromium, molybdic oxide, and Molyte are an excellent source of Molybdenum in manufacturing of steel.

Sodium Molybdate is dry fertilizer in a powder form. Its anhydrous form is generally powder.

Question 2: What are the Critical Properties of Molybdenum?

Answer: It is useful in applications that implement high temperature. Typically, it is a refractory metal, and hence it has a wide area of utilization. Some of the versatile properties of the mineral, Molybdenum are good thermal and electric conductivity, better stiffness than steel. Better strength at high temperature, even better flexibility and strength at room temperature. It has a high density of 10.2 g/ cm cube.