The AlumniUAH who discovered vanadium, the atomic element number 23 of the Periodic Table

Lunes, 05 octubre 2020
The UAHAlumni who discovered vanadium, the atomic element number 23 of the Periodic Table

The university community has to know: the periodic table, which last year get its 150 anniversary, has a protagonist called vanadium that was discovered in 1801 by Andrés Manuel del Río, who graduated as a a bachelor's degree from UAH in 1780. Universidad de Alcalá has an Institute dedicated to its memory, Andrés M. del Río Chemical Research Institute.

Del Rio did not have it easy to confirm the existence of this chemical element, since initially discovered it in 1801, when examining mineral samples in Mexico. At that time, after checking the diversity of colors presented by the compounds he prepared with him, he named it 'panchromium', and then later renamed it 'erythronium'. The proposal did not come before von Humboldt nor Collet-Descotils, scientific references of the time, considered it to be a new chemical element.

However, in 1831, the Swedish chemist Nils Gabriel Sefström rediscovered it and called him vanadium in honor of the beauty goddess Vanadis, from Scandinavian mythology. The following year, Friedrich Wöhler confirmed that this was the same element that the Spanish scientist had already found in 1801.
Andrés Manuel del Río died in 1849 in Mexico City. His influence in this country in the field of mining and in other areas was such that in 1964 the 'National Prize for Chemistry Andrés Manuel del Río' was created by the Chemical Society of Mexico, A.C.
This translation has been created by uah.esnoticia magazine.