The word molybdenum comes from the ancient Greek word molybdos, meaning lead, since minerals containing the two elements have a very similar appearance. Even though molybdenum is not found in its pure metallic form in nature as a free metal, it is an essential element in most organisms. Enzymes containing molybdenum are commonly found in bacteria for the process of biological nitrogen fixation (breaking the chemical bond in atmospheric molecular nitrogen to obtain a more biologically-useful form). Due to its hardness, very high melting point and resistance to corrosion molybdenum is often included in metal alloys such as stainless steel.
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