Published: Jan 1977
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The element, zirconium, was discovered in 1789 by Klaproth, but the metal itself was not isolated until 1824 when Berzelius prepared a brittle and very impure metal powder by reduction of potassium fluorozirconate with potassium metal. A hundred years later Van Arkel, DeBoer, and Fast, working at the University of Leydin and the Phillip's Lamp Works at Einhoven, Holland, produced a much purer and ductile metal using the iodide decomposition process. The “Iodide Crystal Bar” process survives today as a method of purifying sponge zirconium and hafnium.