This article has been reviewed and approved by the following Topic Editor: Sidney Draggan (other articles)
Vanadium is a soft, silver-gray metallic element. Its atomic number is 23 and symbol is V. Two scientists discovered it. However, they were not working together and even lived across the globe from one another. In 1803, Andres Manuel del Rio, a Spanish mineralogist working in Mexico City, first discovered a material he called “brown lead”. He later renamed this compound erythronium meaning red, a reference that this material turned red when heated. In 1831, a Swedish chemist named Nils Gabriel Sefstrom isolated a new material that he named vanadium in honor of the goddess of beauty and fertility, Vanadis. Ultimately, the name vanadium was chosen.
Henry Roscoe isolated metallic vanadium in 1867. He took vanadium chloride (VCl3) and reduced it with hydrogen to form vanadium metal and hydrochloric acid (HCl).
There is a very minor amount of vanadium in the human body, however it does not serve any biological purpose. It is an interesting fact that vanadium is an essential element to [[ascidian]]s, also known as sea squirts. They concentrate vanadium in their bodies to a level one million times higher than the concentration of vanadium in seawater.