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Uses of Cobalt

Last updated date: 29th Feb 2024
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Overview of Cobalt

Cobalt is a metal with the chemical symbol Co and atomic number 27. It is found in the oxidation zone of many copper ores, notably at Great Britain’s South Crofty Mine, where it was first discovered in 1735 by a miner named Daniel Whiddon. Cobalt is one of the few naturally occurring elements with a triple oxidation state. (Co++) Cobalt is found in all major types of ore deposits. Cobalt uses nitric oxide (NO) as a major ore and binding agent to form sulphides, sulphates, and other salts. 

We will read about cobalt in detail in the article below. We will discuss its uses and applications, also its medical uses. We will also look at the picture of cobalt. So, let’s dive in!

Things Made of Cobalt

Things Made of Cobalt

History of Cobalt

It can be found as a massive or coarse-grained crust and vein or disseminated ore or as an oxide, sulphide, carbonate or silicate. The first use of cobalt was in manufacturing steel by reducing the oxide with charcoal to form a mixture known as blister steel. This steel was essential for the building construction industry during that time. (House of Cobalt). However, the first industrial use of cobalt in pigments was discovered by Vauquelin in 1802.

Cobalt Pigment Cobalt was the first metal used by humanity. Its initial use dates back to the Bronze Age, around 3500-3000 BC. During this time, alloys were created with copper and tin, using iron oxide as a blacksmithing material for making tools. It was also used in Inca jewellery.

What is Cobalt?



Cobalt is one of the chemical elements with the symbol Co. It naturally occurs in the earth’s crust but in a chemically combined form. The pure cobalt element is hard, lustrous and silver-grey metal. Cobalt is a brittle metal that, when heated with carbon, forms steel. Cobalt-based alloys are also resistant to corrosion and heat because of their hardness.

Cobalt Uses in Everyday Life

  • Cobalt is a hard, brittle metal which forms steel when heated with carbon, and steel is a widely used product in everyday life.

  • The alloys of cobalt are corrosion and heat-resistant because of their hardness.

  • The radioactive cobalt-60 is known to be a treatment for cancer.

  • Cobalt is also a crucial element in making various types of mobile phone batteries, such as lithium ion batteries.

  • Cobalt is a durable metal and is also available at lo,w cost, so it is a very common material used in ceramic and glass work.

  • Cobalt is also used in the production of jet engines, components for wind turbines, and magnets.

Cobalt Applications

There are several applications of cobalt metals, and we have listed a few of them.


The alloys made using cobalt are very useful because of their properties. They provide high resistance to corrosion at high temperatures. This is why some cobalt alloys are primarily used in making hot gas turbines and turbine edges for aeroplanes.


Cobalt is one of the main ingredients in the composition of batteries, along with lithium, manganese and nickel. Cobalt ensures that the cathodes inside the battery do not easily overheat or catch fire. According to a report, approximately 50 per cent of the cobalt produced worldwide is only used in making batteries.

Uses of Cobalt in Promoting Health

Cobalt is an essential mineral in vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 ensures that the nervous system is functioning healthily. Also, it is involved in the production of red blood cells and haemoglobin. Cobalt works in managing the functioning of the cardiac system; it lowers the level of homocysteine which gradually damages the arterial walls, so it prevents the damage of arterial walls.

A deficiency of cobalt can lead to severe problems. If the body lacks cobalt, the production of red blood cells will be affected, which may lead to anaemia. Cobalt deficiency may also lead to decreased functioning of thyroid glands. Some rich sources of cobalt include milk, fish, red meat, figs, turnips, etc.


Cobalt is an essential chemical element that is not only used in everyday materials but also promotes the healthy living of human beings. It is also one of the transition elements. Its isotopes are used in medical treatment. Apart from its numerous commercial and industrial applications, it is crucial for the human body. In this article, we have discussed the wide uses and applications of cobalt. We also discussed cobalt's medical uses, which are crucial for our body. 

FAQs on Uses of Cobalt

1. What are ferromagnetic elements? Is cobalt a ferromagnetic element?

Ferromagnetic elements are those elements which have strong magnetism in the same direction as the magnetic field. Yes, cobalt is a ferromagnetic element. 

2. Name some ores of cobalt.

Some of the ores of cobalt are: Cobaltite, Smaltite, and Linnaeite.

3. What is cobalt poisoning?

Cobalt poisoning is the intoxication that occurs in the human body due to increased levels of cobalt. It can cause severe problems such as deafness, blood thickening, thyroid and vision problems, etc.