Cobalt

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Sources and production

Cobalt is an element that can be found in meteoritic iron. It is more common in the core of planets than in the crust. (Note that iron meteors, are the 'core' of large asteroids which have been broken loose after eons of collisions.)

Mars has not differentiated the iron core from the mantle as much as on Earth. Therefore, the 'iron loving' metals which are rare on the Earth's crust, are believed to be more common in Mars' crust. If this theory is true, then cobalt, nickel, platinum, iron and other such metals are likely to have richer ores on Mars than on Earth.

• Cobalt is found in Earth soils (typically 1-20mg/kg dry weight), and it is likely that it will be found in Martian soils. Mars is close to the asteroid belt, and so Mars has been peppered by metallic meteors, making trace amounts in Martian soils likely higher than on Earth.
• As it is required in trace amounts for animal life, cobalt can be brought from Earth until the settlement(s) desire to become entirely self sufficient. (Likely in the form of vitamin pills.)

Use

• Cobalt is a transition metal. Cobalamin, or vitamin ${\displaystyle B_{12}}$, has Cobalt at its active center. It is essential to all animal life. Lack of cobalt has caused deficiency sickness in a number of cases in Australia.
• Cobalt is used in many high temperature alloys.
• Cobalt can be used a catalysts in the petrochemical industries, and could be used to prepare petrochemicals from the carbon dioxide extracted from the Martian atmosphere.
• Cobalt is used in some lithium ion batteries, but several modern battery cathodes dispense with it.