What is Titanium?

Titanium is a chemical element which is placed in the 4th group and 4th period in the periodic table. Symbol of the titanium element is Ti. It is a transition metal element with the atomic number 22. Titanium is the 2nd element of the first series of transition metals. Sc is present before titanium in the 1st series of transition elements and Zr is placed below titanium in the periodic table. Zr is also a transition metal which is a member of the 2nd series of transition elements. Titanium does not show any similarity in physical and chemical properties with Zr although they have the same number of valence electrons and are placed in the same group. As titanium is found in the 4th group so, it is a d – block element. Titanium has a silvery grey white metallic appearance. 

Titanium was discovered by British clergyman and mineralogist William Gregor in 1791 and first isolated by Jons Jakob Berzelius in 1825. The word titanium is taken from the Greek word Titans which is used in Greek mythology. According to Greek mythology, Titans are the sons of the Earth goddess. The element titanium was named by German chemist Martin Heinrich Klaproth. 

Titanium is the 7th most abundant metallic element and 9th most abundant element in the Earth’s crust. It is mostly found as oxides in igneous rocks. It is also found in the lithosphere. Titanium is present in almost all living things, water bodies, rocks and soil. For commercial use titanium is mostly obtained by extraction of ilmenite (FeTiO3) and rutile (TiO2) ores by mainly two processes either Kroll process or Hunter process. 

Two allotropic forms of titanium can be found in nature. Five naturally occurring isotopes are available of titanium which are stable in nature. Apart from these it has many synthetic isotopes as well. Out of its synthetic isotopes 44Ti is the most stable with a half - life of 63 years. Its 5 naturally occurring isotopes are – 46Ti, 47Ti, 48Ti, 49Ti, and 50Ti. Out of its naturally occurring isotopes 48Ti is the most abundant isotope. Its alloys are also available with other elements such as iron, aluminium, vanadium and molybdenum. 

Titanium Atomic Number and Electronic Configuration 

Atomic number of titanium is 22. Its electronic configuration is 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d2 4s2 or it can be written as [Ar] 3d2 4s2. It has 2 electrons in K – shell, 8 electrons in L – shell, 10 electrons in M – shell and 2 electrons in its outermost shell N. 

Properties of Titanium

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Physical and chemical properties of titanium – Physical and chemical properties of titanium are listed below –

  • It is found as solid at STP. 

  • Standard atomic weight of titanium is 47.867.

  • It has a silvery grey white metallic appearance. 

  • Its melting point is 1668 .

  • Boiling point of titanium is 3287 .

  • It shows hexagonal close packed (hcp) crystal structure.

  • It has low density. Its density is 4.506 g cm-3.

  • It is a lustrous transition element which has high strength

  • According to the Pauling scale, its electronegativity is 1.54.

  • It has many isotopes. Its 5 isotopes are stable and occur naturally which are 46Ti, 47Ti, 48Ti, 49Ti, and 50Ti. Although its key isotope is 48Ti which is the most abundant isotope of titanium.

  • It is resistant to corrosion. It doesn’t get corroded by dilute sulfuric acid and hydrochloric acid. 

  • It has the highest strength to density ratio among all metallic elements. 

  • It is paramagnetic and has comparatively low electrical and thermal conductivity than other metals. 

  • It is ductile and nonmagnetic.

  • Reaction with oxygen – Titanium reacts with oxygen present in air at 1200 temperature. Reaction is given below –

Ti + O2 1200℃→  TiO2

  • Reaction with water – Titanium reacts very slowly with water. Reaction is given below –

Ti + 2H2O 🡪 TiO2 + 2H2

  • Reaction with nitrogen – Titanium burns in pure nitrogen gas and forms titanium nitride. Reaction takes place at 800 . Equation is given below –

2Ti + N2 🡪 TiN 

  • Reaction with halogens – Titanium reacts with halogens such as F, Cl, Br and I. it reacts with chlorine at 550 and forms titanium tetrachloride. Reaction is given below –

Ti + 2Cl2 🡪 TiCl4

With fluorine - Ti + 2F2 🡪 TiF4

With bromine - Ti + 2Br2 🡪 TiBr4

With iodine - Ti + 2l2 🡪 Til4

Uses of Titanium 

Titanium is very useful in various fields mainly due to its properties such as highest strength to density ratio and corrosion resistance etc. Few of its uses are listed below –

  • Titanium dioxide is used in manufacturing of white pigments. 

  • TiO2 is used as a photocatalyst in various reactions.

  • Titanium trichloride is used in production of polypropylene and in many other reactions as a catalyst.

  • Titanium tetrachloride is used in smoke screens. It is also used as a catalyst.

  • Titanium alloys are strong, durable, and lightweight so they are generally used in missiles, jet engines and spacecrafts. 

  • It is also used in the military, automotive industry, paper and pulp industry and agriculture. 

  • Titanium in its powdered form is used in pyrotechnics. 

  • In stainless steel, it is used to reduce the percentage of carbon content. 

  • Titanium alloys are used in recreational purposes as well. 

  • Titanium white pigments are used in paints, white papers, toothpastes and plastics etc.

  • It is used in fishing rods and golf clubs as a strengthening agent.

  •  Its oxide TiO2 is used in cement and gemstones as well. 

  • Due to its inertness and resistance to corrosion, titanium is also widely used in jewelries. 

  • It is widely used in the medicinal field as well. It is mainly used in dental implants, joint replacements etc.

  • It is used in cosmetics and electronics as well. 

Adverse Effects of Titanium 

Titanium is a non – toxic element and cannot be absorbed by tissues of human beings. This is the reason even if we ingest titanium by various means it doesn’t show any harmful effects on the body as it passes out of the body without being absorbed by it. Titanium in its powder form poses a significant fire hazard and explosion hazard. 

Titanium Summary in Tabular Form 




Discovered By 

British clergyman and mineralogist William Gregor in 1791

First Isolated by 

Jons Jakob Berzelius in 1825

Named by 

German chemist Martin Heinrich Klaproth 

Atomic number 


Standard atomic weight 


Crystal Structure 

Hexagonal close packed (hcp)

State at 20


Melting point 


Boiling point 

3287 ℃ 







Electronic configuration 

1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d2 4s2 or [Ar] 3d2 4s2 

Main properties 

Corrosion resistance and highest strength to density ratio 

Main use 

As white pigments and in aircrafts, jet engines, missiles 


Titanium powder can cause fire and explosion  

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