Manganese is a chemical element with the symbol Mn and atomic number 25. It is not found as a free element in nature; it is often found in minerals in combination with iron. Manganese is a transition metal with a multifaceted array of industrial alloy uses, particularly in stainless steels.
Manganese phosphating is used for rust and corrosion prevention on steel. Ionized manganese is used industrially as pigments of various colors, which depend on the oxidation state of the ions. The permanganates of alkali and alkaline earth metals are powerful oxidizers. Manganese dioxide is used as the cathode (electron acceptor) material in zinc-carbon and alkaline batteries.
Manganese is a silvery-gray metal that resembles iron. It is hard and very brittle, difficult to fuse, but easy to oxidize. Manganese metal and its common ions are paramagnetic. Manganese tarnishes slowly in air and oxidizes (“rusts”) like iron in water containing dissolved oxygen.