In our last article on fluorine facts, we learned about its discovery, its dangers, its availability on Earth and in universe and we learned about a few uses of fluorine. However, we did not mention its general characteristics and features. In this article on fluorine element facts, we are going to do exactly that so that your basic knowledge about fluorine is more or less complete. So, let’s get started…
Fluorine Element Facts: 1-5
1. Fluorine is ‘the most’ reactive element known to us. The reason for this is that fluorine is most electronegative of all known elements till now.
2. It is so reactive that once it comes in contact with water, it reacts violently. The result of this reaction is the formation of oxygen and hydrofluoric acid, which is known to be extremely corrosive. So corrosive is this acid that it can dissolve glass.
3. Fluorine is so reactive that it is known to react with every known element on this planet. It is so reactive that it even reacts with noble or inert gases under specific conditions.
4. Elemental fluorine is diatomic. This means that two atoms of fluorine will combine to form a molecule.
5. Elemental fluorine in normal room temperature takes gaseous state. It is pale yellow in color and is highly corrosive, especially to soft tissues.
Fluorine Element Facts: 6-10
6. Fluorine gas has a very pungent smell that can be detected in density as low as 20 ppb (parts per billion). This characteristic of fluorine makes its very easily detectable and hence, good for those who work with fluorine because they can quickly identify leakages.
7. Fluorine is classified as Halogen. It is the lightest known halogen on Earth.
8. At a temperature of -188°C or -307°F, fluorine condenses and becomes a liquid with bright yellow color.
Fluorine Element Facts: 11-15
11. Pure fluorine can be converted into pure solid fluorine at a temperature of -219°C or -426.2°F.
12. The only known naturally occurring and stable isotope of Fluorine (19F) is very sensible to magnetic fields and hence, it is extensively used in MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
13. Fluorine was once represented by the symbol Fl instead of F. Some old textbooks may still have that symbol.
14. Chemists who were either killed or badly injured by fluorine in search of pure fluorine are often referred to as ‘Fluorine Martyrs’. Fluorine was called ‘Chemist Killer’.
15. When we say ‘Fluorine’, we actually refer to fluorine ion.
Fluorine Element Facts: 16-20
16. Fluorite or fluorspar – the mineral of fluorine has a unique property. When it is kept it light and then taken into darkness, it will glow. This is precisely from where the term ‘fluorescence’ has been derived.
17. So, is fluorine fluorescent? No, not really, no! Fluorine has nothing to do with fluorescence. The glow comes from europium that is present in small quantities in fluorspar or fluorite.
18. The requirement for commercially producing fluorine came only during World War II. Fluorine was required for enriching uranium. Different isotopes of uranium are separated using uranium hexafluoride.
19. The top three producers of fluorine are China, Mexico and Mongolia (in the given order) while the top three reserve holders of fluorine are South Africa, Mexico and China (in the given order).
20. About 4.5 million tons of fluorite or fluorspar is mined every single year for commercial production of fluorine.