How Was Titanium Discovered?


Quick Answer

Titanium was discovered in a stream by an amateur geologist named Reverend William Gregor in the city of Cornwall, England, in 1791. The titanium element was discovered in the form of a black, magnetic sand that visually resembled gunpowder, and it was initially named manaccanite after the location of its discovery.

Continue Reading
Related Videos

Full Answer

The same element was also discovered by a German scientist named Martin Henirich Klaproth in 1795. The scientist discovered an unidentified chemical element inside an ore sample that originated from Hungary. Klaproth named the element titanium and later also confirmed that the manaccanite element that was discovered by Reverend Gregor shared the exact same chemical composition. While Reverend Gregor is credited with the initial discovery of the element, as of 2015, it is referred to more commonly as titanium rather than manaccanite.

A pure version of titanium was later distilled by a metallurgist named Matthew Hunter in 1910, using the process of heating titanium chloride with sodium. This process was done in a pressure cylinder by using temperature that generated a red heat. Commercial production of titanium was not possible until the introduction of the Kroll process in 1936, which uses magnesium in the process of heating titanium chloride.

Learn more about Geology

Related Questions