Zirconium is a transition metal that does not occur in the native state. When present in compounds, it exists mostly in the quadrivalent state Zr4+. Its abundance in the Earth’s crust is 165 parts per million by mass, 38 parts per million by moles. In the Solar System its abundance is very much smaller, at 40 parts per billion by mass, 0.5 parts per billion by moles. It has a melting point of 1,850oC and a boiling point of 4,400oC.
Zirconium is generally exceptionally resistant to corrosion; it is however rapidly attacked by hydrofluoric acid, even at low concentrations (ChC).
Zirconium-bearing minerals include:
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