History of Titanium


History of Titanium

Titanium was discovered at Creed, Cornwall in England by amateur geologist Reverend William Gregor in 1791. He recognized the presence of a new element in ilmenite, and named it menachite (alternately spelled manaccanite), after the nearby parish of Manaccan. At around the same time, Franz Joseph Muller also produced a similar substance, but could not identify it. The element was independently rediscovered several years later by German chemist Martin Heinrich Klaproth in rutile ore. Klaproth confirmed it as a new element and in 1795 he named it for the Titans of Greek mythology.

The metal has always been difficult to extract from its various ores. Pure metallic titanium (99.9%) was first prepared in 1910 by Matthew A. Hunter by heating TiCl4 with sodium in a steel bomb at 700–800 °C in the Hunter process. Titanium metal was not used outside the laboratory until 1946 when William Justin Kroll proved that titanium could be commercially produced by reducing titanium tetrachloride with magnesium in the Kroll process which is the method still used today.