Symbol Ni. A malleable ductile silvery metallic transition element; a.n. 28; r.a.m. 58.70; r.d. 8.9; m.p. 1450°C; b.p. 2732°C. It is found in the minerals pentlandite (NiS), pyrrhoite (Fe,Ni)S), and garnierite ((Ni,Mg)6(OH)6Si4O11.H2O). Nickel is also present in certain iron meteorites (up to 20%). The metal is extracted by roasting the ore to give the oxide, followed by reduction with carbon monoxide and purification by the Mond process. Alternatively electolysis is used. Nickel metal is used in special steels, in Invar, and, being ferromagnetic, in magnetic alloys, such as Mumetal. It is also an effective catalyst, particularly for hydrogenation reactions (see also Raney nickel). The main compounds are formed with nickel in the +2 oxidation state; the +3 state also exists (e.g. the black oxide, Ni2O3). Nickel was discovered by Axel Cronstedt (1722–65) in 1751.
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