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Facts About Fluorine

Facts About Fluorine
Did you know that Florine is the 13th most common element on the Earth's surface, and it is the most reactive of all elements? Get more of such fluorine facts from this article.
Rajib Singha
Probably the most notorious element in the Mendeleev's Periodic table, a pale-yellow, highly corrosive, poisonous, and gaseous halogen element is what we know as Fluorine. Denoted by the letter 'F', and its name originates from the Latin word 'fluo' meaning flow. The element occupies the 9th position in the Periodic Table. Why notorious? The element is the most electronegative thus, the most reactive of all chemical elements found on earth; reason why it does not occur free in nature. And because of this it could not be isolated from its source mineral until 1886. In fact, many scientists died in accidents that took place while isolating the element. In 1886, it was French chemist Ferdinand Frederick Henri Moissan who finally succeeded in preparing fluorine. It was electrolysis of potassium hydrogen difluoride solution in liquid hydrogen fluoride, that yielded the element fluorine. To honor the chemist's achievement, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1906.
Facts About the Element Fluorine
# Fluorine, whose atomic number is 9, and atomic weight is 18.998403, is obtained from the mineral fluorite. Its electronic configuration is 1s22s22p5. The element comes under the Halogen section, in group 7 of the Periodic Table.

# -219.62°C (- 53.530006 °K) is the melting point of fluorine, and the boiling point is -188.14°C (- 85.01 °K).

# As cited already, fluorine is the most reactive element of all. This is because of its intense electronegativity. One atom of this element has 7 valence electrons thus, has the ability to attain electrons from any surrounding substance to become F-. Metals, glass, ceramics, carbon and water, when burned in Fluorine, produce a bright flame. As it is the most reactive element of all, it can carry out reactions with almost all organic and inorganic substances.

# Fluorine has a cubic crystal structure with a density @ 293 K is 1.696 g/cm3.
Chemical Reactions
Here are a few examples of chemical reactions that involve fluorine.

# Reaction with air:

2F2(g) + 2H2O(g) → O2(g) + 4HF(g)

# Reaction with water:

2F2(g) + 2H2O(l) → O2(g) + 4HF(aq)

# Reaction with other halogens such as iodine:

7F2(g) + I2(g) → 2IF7(g)

# Reaction with bases:

2F2(g) + 2OH-(aq) → OF2(g) + 2F-(aq) + H2O(l)
Fluorine Uses
  • The production of Uranium involves the use of fluorine and its compounds.
  • In rocket fuels, fluorine functions in a way similar to oxygen. This helps in the combustion of materials in the fuel.
  • In the manufacture of different polymers and plastic, fluorine compounds find extensive uses. Polymers and plastics which are made with the help of fluorine compounds, are those which are manufactured with the purpose of withstanding high temperatures without melting, and endure high degree of stress without breaking.
  • Refrigerants and cooling solutions had been manufactured using carbon and fluorinated compounds known as CFCs. Owing to their devastating nature to cause the depletion of ozone layer of the Earth, refrigerants, now are manufactured using only fluorine with carbon and hydrogen.
  • Fluorides, a salt of hydrofluoric acid, are used as one of the ingredients in toothpaste, dental rinses, etc. and have shown to help reduce dental carries.
  • Microelectronics industry also makes use of fluorine for etching circuit patterns onto silicon and tungsten compounds.
  • Hydrofluoric acid is used for providing decorative etching on glassware. Substances like light bulbs and other highly sensitive glass are too thin to tolerate other etching methods.
  • Purification of water in many places, also involves addition of small amounts of fluoride. it is an effective, safe, and inexpensive way to prevent tooth decay.
  • In the United States, fluoridation of water has been in progress for more than 50 years.
  • Fluoride is more beneficial to kids as it helps their teeth grow stronger and resistant to dental problems.
To conclude, nearly all industries based on agriculture, pharmaceutics, mining and health care make extensive use of fluorine, in its elemental and compound form as well.