What is Fluorine?
An overview of the Fluorine Element
In a general overview
of the element we can at first describe Fluorine as a pale
yellow, white or colourless gas which can sometimes be
fluorescent. It is present in volcanic gases and thermal waters.
Its chief source is fluorite but it also occurs in cryolite,
seawater, bones, and teeth. Fluorine can only be produced by
electrolysis under special conditions. Its most important
compounds are fluorite, cryolite, and topaz.
Periodic Table Group and Classification of the of the Fluorine Element
Elements can be classified based on their physical states (States
of Matter) e.g. gas, solid or liquid. This element is a gas. Fluorine
classified as an element in the 'Halogens' section which can be
located in group 7 of the Periodic Table. The term "halogen" means
"salt-former" and compounds containing halogens are called
"salts". The halogens exist, at room temperature, in all three
states of matter - Gases such as Fluorine & Chlorine, Solids such
and Liquid as in Bromine. For additional
facts refer to Fluorine
Origin / Meaning of the name Fluorine
The name 'Flourine' was
coined in 1813 the by English chemist Sir Humphry Davy from
fluorspar, the name of the mineral where it was first found.
Fluorspar is the chief ore of fluorine. Its composition is
calcium fluoride. The mineral name of fluorspar was given by
Georg Agricola in 1546, translating the German name flusse from
the Latin word fluxus meaning "flowing or to flow". In
metallurgy, a flux is also derived from the Latin word fluxus
and is a chemical cleaning agent or flowing agent.
Facts about the
History of the Fluorine
First described in 1529 by Georigius Agricola (1494-1555) for its use as a
flux. In 1813 Sir Humphry Davy experimented with Fluorspar and
attempted the extraction of Flourine, but failed. George Gore
was able to produce a small amount of fluorine through an
electrolytic process in 1869. It was successfully isolated by
Henri Moissan, a French chemist, in 1886. He achieved this
through the electrolysis of potassium fluoride and hydrofluoric
acid. In 1906 Henri Moissan won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for
his work in isolating fluorine from its compounds.
Henri Moissan (1852-1907)
History of the Periodic Table
Check out the brief
History of the
Periodic Table which details dates and the names of famous
scientists and chemists who contributed to the development of
the Periodic Table.
Occurrence of the Fluorine Element
Obtained from the mineral fluorite
Abundances of the element in different environments
% in Universe
% in Sun 0.00005%
% in Meteorites 0.0087%
% in Earth's Crust 0.054%
% in Oceans 0.00013%
% in Humans 0.0037%
Medical Uses of
Fluorine - Health and Treatments - Dental Care
Interesting information on
the Medical Uses of Fluorine, Health and Treatments. Small
amounts of sodium fluoride added to the water supplies will
reduce the incidence of dental cavities, particularly among
children. Excessive amounts of fluoride can mottle tooth enamel
and cause osteosclerosis (an area of dense but normal bone in
Associated Uses of Fluorine
Soluble fluorides added to public water supplies have reduced
the incidence of tooth decay. It is also used in Toothpaste.
Other uses of Fluorine include the extraction of uranium, in Air
conditioning and Refrigeration and also as an insecticide.
Fluorocarbons such as Teflon have found extensive use as
lubricants because of their low friction.