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Who Discovered Nickel?

Known as a chemical element that is identified with the atomic number of 28 and symbol of Ni, nickel is a metal that is ductile and hard. This element is classified under the transition metals. The metal is usually present in alloys like taenite and kamacite. It is also present in iron meteorites. Because of the distinct characteristics or properties of this element, it is widely used in producing metal apparatuses. In order to know more about this element, it is best if we start with the history of the discovery of nickel.

Historical Background

Who discovered nickel? This transition element was discovered by Swedish chemist Axel Fredrik Cronstedt in 1751. The discovery of the element happened when the chemist isolated copper from niccolite. Instead of extracting the metal, he isolated another element with silvery white color that Cronstedt named nickel.

Even if Cronstedt was recognized as the scientist who discovered the element, there were evidences, which proved that nickel was used in ancient societies. There were records in China, which suggested that the element was widely used from 1700 BC to 1300 BC.

Additional Information and Other Important Details

This metal has various industrial applications. It is very useful in the production of magnets, rechargeable batteries, stainless steel and special alloys. Aside from these, it is essential to the production of coinage and electric guitar strings. In addition, the element is widely used in the development of copper, bronzes, aluminum and cobalt.

The market value of the metal depends on demands. For instance, from January to April 2007, the market value of nickel is $52,300 per tonne. When converted to ounces, the element was trading at 1.47 per ounce. However, in 2009, the demand for the metal decreased, which led to the decreased market value of the element. As of January 19, 2009, the metal was priced at $10,800 per tonne.

Like other metals, people should practice precautionary measures when processing the element. It is important that a person not be exposed 0.05 milligram per cubic centimeter of nickel because it can lead to toxicity. Some of the effects of prolonged exposure to this element are skin allergies like dermatitis. Aside from allergies, a person can also suffer from pompholyx or dyshidrosis. This disease is characterized by small or large blisters that are present in soles, palms, fingers and toes. Other symptoms of the illness include tingling sensation in the armpits and forearm. The swelling of lymph nodes also characterizes an allergic reaction to nickel.

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