Characteristics: A hard, brittle, gray-white metal; soluble in acids (except nitric) and alkalies. Resistant to oxidation at ordinary temperatures. High heat capacity and thermal conductivity. It is the lightest structural metal known; can be fabricated by rolling, forging, and machining. Joining is chiefly by shrink-fitting; brazing and welding are difficult. Permeable to x-rays.
Derivation: The ore is converted to the oxide or hydroxide, then to the chloride or fluoride. The halide may be (a) reduced in a furnace by magnesium metal, or (b) reduced by electrolysis. (c) Liquid-liquid extraction with an organophosphate chelating agent can be used as a method of purification, or as an alternative process on the ore itself.