Stiefel, Edward I. Exxon Research and Engineering Co., Annandale, New Jersey.
Last reviewed:January 2020
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A chemical element, Mo, atomic number 42, and atomic weight 95.94, in the periodic table in the triad of transition elements that includes chromium (atomic number 24) and tungsten (atomic number 74). Research has revealed it to be one of the most versatile chemical elements, finding applications not only in metallurgy but also in paints, pigments, and dyes; ceramics; electroplating; industrial catalysts; industrial lubricants; and organometallic chemistry. Molybdenum is an essential trace element in soils and in agricultural fertilizers. Molybdenum atoms have been found to perform key functions in enzymes (oxidases and reductases), with particular interest being directed toward its role in nitrogenase, which is employed by bacteria in legumes to convert inert nitrogen (N2) of the air into biologically useful ammonia (NH3). See also: Nitrogen fixation; Periodic table
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