# Which is more stable vanadium or chromium? And why?

Jul 22, 2017

It is not a physically reasonable comparison to make. They are different elements, and each of them are as stable as that element can be in their respective ground states.

Chemical stability is a thermodynamic phenomenon, and is not indicative of chemical reactivity, which is kinetic in nature.

Now, if you meant which element is more prone to participating in chemical reactions, it would usually be vanadium, as it has lower ionization energies for comparable oxidation states (up to $+ V$).

If we were to compare their ionization energies, we could see that the atom with the lower ionization energy has a greater tendency to lose the $n$th electron in the $+ \left(n - 1\right)$ charge state to form the $+ n$ charge state.

Using data from NIST, I get:

However, $\text{Cr}$ can attain the higher oxidation state, at which point it becomes more reactive as ${\text{Cr}}^{+ 5}$ and ${\text{Cr}}^{+ 6}$, forming the $+ V I$ and $+ V I I$ oxidation states, respectively.