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The Mineralogy of Niobium

General Properties
Symbol:Nb
Atomic Number:41
Standard atomic weight (Ar):92.90638(2)
Electron configuration:[Kr] 4d4 5s1
Photos
<
Niobium crystals
>
Atomic Properties
Electronegativity (Pauling scale):1.6
Atomic Radius:198 pm
Ionic Radius:72 pm (+3)
1st Ionization energy:652 kJ/mol
1st Electron affinity:-86 kJ/mol
Oxidation States:-1,2,3,4,5
Physical Properties
Standard State:solid
Bonding Type:metallic
Melting Point:2750 K
Boiling Point:5017 K
Density:8.57 g/cm3
Metal/Non-Metal:transition metal
Main isotopes of Niobium
Isotope% in NatureHalf LifeDecay typeDecay product
90Nbsynthetic14.6hβ+90Zr
91Nbsynthetic680yε91Zr
91mNbsynthetic60.86dIsomeric transition91Nb
92Nbsynthetic3.47x107yε92Zr
92m1Nbsynthetic10.15dε92Zr
93Nb100%-Spontaneous fission ?
93mNbsynthetic16.13yIsomeric transition93Nb
94Nbsynthetic20,300yβ−94Mo
95Nbsynthetic34.991dβ−95Mo
95mNbsynthetic3.61dIsomeric transition95Nb
96Nbsynthetic23.4hβ−96Mo
Other Information
Year Discovered:1801
Discovered By:
Charles Hatchett
Recognised as an element:1844
Recognised By:
Heinrich Rose
Year Isolated:1864
Isolated By:
Christian Wilhelm Blomstrand
Named For:
Niobe in Greek mythology
CPK color coding:#73C2C9
External Links:WikipediaWebElementsLos Alamos National LaboratoryTheodore Gray's PeriodicTable.com
Simple Compounds
Nitridesniobium nitrideNbN+3
Sulfidesniobium disulphideNbS2+4
Selenidesniobium diselenideNbSe2+4
Telluridesniobium ditellurideNbTe2+4
Fluoridesniobium trifluorideNbF3+3
niobium tetrafluorideNbF4+4
niobium pentafluoride tetramer[NbF5]4+5
Chloridesniobium trichlorideNbCl3+3
niobium tetrachlorideNbCl4+4
niobium pentachlorideNbCl5+5
Bromidesniobium tetrabromideNbBr4+4
niobium pentabromideNbBr5+5
Iodidesniobium triiodideNbI3+3
niobium tetraiodideNbI4+4
niobium pentaiodideNbI5+5
Oxidesniobium oxideNbO+4
niobium dioxideNbO2+4
diniobium pentaoxideNb2O5+5
Mineral Diversity of Niobium
1. Elements 1 valid mineral species
2. Sulfides And Sulfosalts 1 valid mineral species
4. Oxides 34 valid mineral species
6. Borates1 valid mineral species
7. Sulfates 2 valid mineral species
8. Phosphates, Arsenates, Vanadates2 valid mineral species
9. Silicates 34 valid mineral species
Total:75 valid species containing essential Niobium
Geochemistry of Niobium
Goldschmidt classification:Lithophile
Nb5+ is commonly concentrated in residual soils and sediments.
Elemental Abundance for Niobium
Crust (CRC Handbook)2.0 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Kaye & Laby)2.0 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Greenwood)2.0 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Ahrens/Taylor)1.1000 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Ahrens/Weaver)1.3000 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Upper Crust (Ahrens/Taylor)2.5000 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Upper Crust (Ahrens/Shaw)2.6000 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Sea Water (CRC Handbook)1 x 10-11mass per volume fraction, kg/L
Sea Water (Kaye & Laby)1.5 x 10-11mass per volume fraction, kg/L
The Sun (Kaye & Laby)7.0 x 10-7atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Kaye & Laby)7.0 x 10-7atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Ahrens)6.98 x 10-7 (1.4%)atom mole fraction relative to Si=1 (% uncertainty)
Element association of Niobium in the Mineral World
This table compares the known valid mineral species listed listed with Niobium and the other elements listed based on the official IMA formula. Note that unlike other sections on this page this includes non-essential elements.

The first data column contains the total number of minerals listed with Niobium and the element listed for that row.

The second data column lists this number as a percentage of all minerals listed with Niobium.

The final data column compares this percentage against the percentage of all minerals that contain the element listed in each row.

Click on a heading to sort.
ElementValid Minerals listed with element and Niobium% of Nb mineralsRelative to % in all minerals
Oxygen179 minerals with Nb and O98.35%28.55% higher
Hydrogen105 minerals with Nb and H57.69%7.07% higher
Titanium94 minerals with Nb and Ti51.65%646.96% higher
Silicon86 minerals with Nb and Si47.25%69.93% higher
Sodium78 minerals with Nb and Na42.86%126.05% higher
Calcium75 minerals with Nb and Ca41.21%67.20% higher
Iron54 minerals with Nb and Fe29.67%29.78% higher
Tantalum44 minerals with Nb and Ta24.18%1,681.73% higher
Potassium41 minerals with Nb and K22.53%132.18% higher
Manganese41 minerals with Nb and Mn22.53%94.54% higher
Fluorine32 minerals with Nb and F17.58%110.68% higher
Barium23 minerals with Nb and Ba12.64%171.96% higher
Cerium21 minerals with Nb and Ce11.54%248.75% higher
Yttrium21 minerals with Nb and Y11.54%340.26% higher
Zirconium21 minerals with Nb and Zr11.54%377.51% higher
Uranium18 minerals with Nb and U9.89%106.24% higher
Strontium14 minerals with Nb and Sr7.69%172.27% higher
Thorium12 minerals with Nb and Th6.59%639.01% higher
Aluminium10 minerals with Nb and Al5.49%72.37% lower
Chlorine10 minerals with Nb and Cl5.49%27.19% lower
Magnesium10 minerals with Nb and Mg5.49%60.16% lower
Lead8 minerals with Nb and Pb4.40%54.17% lower
Zinc7 minerals with Nb and Zn3.85%28.15% lower
Boron6 minerals with Nb and B3.30%35.27% lower
Carbon6 minerals with Nb and C3.30%55.55% lower
Phosphorus6 minerals with Nb and P3.30%70.19% lower
Lanthanum6 minerals with Nb and La3.30%92.79% higher
Neodymium6 minerals with Nb and Nd3.30%241.08% higher
Sulfur4 minerals with Nb and S2.20%88.77% lower
Tungsten4 minerals with Nb and W2.20%188.39% higher
Molybdenum3 minerals with Nb and Mo1.65%43.03% higher
Tin3 minerals with Nb and Sn1.65%10.42% lower
Antimony3 minerals with Nb and Sb1.65%66.41% lower
Bismuth2 minerals with Nb and Bi1.10%73.13% lower
Ytterbium1 mineral with Nb and Yb0.55%392.67% higher
Caesium1 mineral with Nb and Cs0.55%23.17% higher
Arsenic1 mineral with Nb and As0.55%95.19% lower
Chromium1 mineral with Nb and Cr0.55%66.79% lower
Periodic Table
1H 2He
3Li 4Be 5B 6C 7N 8O 9F 10Ne
11Na 12Mg 13Al 14Si 15P 16S 17Cl 18Ar
19K 20Ca 21Sc 22Ti 23V 24Cr 25Mn 26Fe 27Co 28Ni 29Cu 30Zn 31Ga 32Ge 33As 34Se 35Br 36Kr
37Rb 38Sr 39Y 40Zr 41Nb 42Mo 43Tc 44Ru 45Rh 46Pd 47Ag 48Cd 49In 50Sn 51Sb 52Te 53I 54Xe
55Cs 56Ba 57La 72Hf 73Ta 74W 75Re 76Os 77Ir 78Pt 79Au 80Hg 81Tl 82Pb 83Bi 84Po 85At 86Rn
87Fr 88Ra 89Ac 104Rd 105Db 106Sg 107Bh 108Hs 109Mt 110Ds 111Rg 112Cn 113Nh 114Fl 115Mc 116Lv 117Ts 118Og
 
58Ce 59Pr 60Nd 61Pm 62Sm 63Eu 64Gd 65Tb 66Dy 67Ho 68Er 69Tm 70Yb 71Lu
90Th 91Pa 92U 93Np 94Pu 95Am 96Cm 97Bk 98Cf 99Es 100Fm 101Md 102No 103Lr
Default Categories CPK Electronegativity Atomic Radius Lowest Oxidation Highest Oxidation Crustal Abundance Goldschmidt Mineral Species Minerals with Nb Relative Frequency
Zirconium << Niobium >> Molybdenum


Most widespread minerals containing Niobium
This list of minerals containing Niobium is built from the mindat.org locality database. This is based on the number of localities entered for mineral species and is therefore slanted towards minerals interesting to collectors with less coverage of common rock-forming-minerals so it does not give an undistorted distribution of Niobium mineral species. It is more useful when comparing rare species rather than common species.
NameFormulaCrystal SystemMindat Localities
Columbite-(Fe)FeNb2O6Orthorhombic485
Pyrochlore GroupA2Nb2(O,OH)6Z399
Euxenite-(Y)(Y,Ca,Ce,U,Th)(Nb,Ta,Ti)2O6Orthorhombic392
Samarskite-(Y)(Y,Fe3+,Fe2+,U,Th,Ca)2(Nb,Ta)2O8Orthorhombic354
Columbite-(Mn)(Mn,Fe)(Nb,Ta)2O6Orthorhombic253
Fergusonite-(Y)YNbO4Tetragonal171
Fersmite(Ca,Ce,Na)(Nb,Ta,Ti)2(O,OH,F)6Orthorhombic74
IshikawaiteU4+Fe2+Nb2O8Monoclinic23
Nenadkevichite(Na,◻)8Nb4(Si4O12)2(O,OH)4 · 8H2OOrthorhombic23
EpistoliteNa2(Nb,Ti)2(Si2O7)O2 · nH2OTriclinic22
Photos

Localities with greatest number of different Niobium mineral species
map should go here
1Poudrette quarry (Demix quarry; Uni-Mix quarry; Carrière Mont Saint-Hilaire; MSH), Mont Saint-Hilaire, La Vallée-du-Richelieu RCM, Montérégie, Québec, Canada19 Nb minerals
2In den Dellen quarries, Niedermendig, Mendig, Laach lake volcanic complex, Eifel, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany10 Nb minerals
Ilímaussaq complex, Narsaq, Kujalleq, Greenland10 Nb minerals
4Bayan Obo deposit (Bayun-Obo deposit; Baiyunebo deposit), Bayan Obo, Bayan Obo Mining District, Baotou League (Baotou Prefecture), Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China8 Nb minerals
5Água de Pau Volcano (Fogo Volcano), Água de Pau Massif, São Miguel Island, Azores District, Portugal7 Nb minerals
Chungju deposit, Mt. Eorae, Joongwon-gun, Chungju (Chung Won Kum; Chung-ju), Chungcheongbukdo (Chungchong-pukto), South Korea7 Nb minerals
7Thelenberg, Niedermendig, Mendig, Laach lake volcanic complex, Eifel, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany7 Nb minerals
8Pumice quarries, Wingertsberg, Niedermendig, Mendig, Laach lake volcanic complex, Eifel, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany7 Nb minerals


Spotted a mistake/omission? - These pages are a work in progress, so please send all comments/corrections to jolyon@mindat.org. Thank you.

Constants and physical property data from:

David R. Lide (ed.), CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 85th Edition. CRC Press. Boca Raton, Florida (2005).
Kaye and Laby Tables of Physical & Chemical Constants (2005). Section 3.1.3, Abundances of the elements
A. Earnshaw, N. Greenwood, Chemistry of the Elements, 2nd edition, Butterworth-Heinemann, (1997)
Thomas J. Ahrens (ed.), Global Earth Physics : A Handbook of Physical Constants, American Geophysical Union (1995)
L.B. Railsback, An Earth Scientist's Periodic Table of the Elements and Their Ions : Geology 31:9 p737-740 (2003)
Emsley, J. Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements. New York: Oxford University Press (2001)
Mineral and/or Locality  
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