Niobium (atomic number 41, symbol 41) is a ductile, grey, soft transition metal, found in pyrochlore. Columbite is the main commercial source for this element.
Niobium has chemical and physical properties similar to tantalum, which is why the two elements are difficult to distinguish. Its cubic crystalline structure is body-centered and also resembles that of tantalum.
In 1801, Charles Hatchett, who discovered niobium, reported a new element that was similar to tantalum. In 1846, William Wollaston wrongly assumed that columbium and tantalum were identical. A series of studies were conducted between 1846 and 1865, and the findings confirmed that columbium...Read More