Fluorine (atomic symbol: F) is the 13th the majority of prevalent element in the earth crust and the lightest member of the halogen group, which is also called team 17 in the Periodic System of Elements. Under typical problems, fluorine is a diatomic gas via a shade of yellow colour. It exhibits a distinctive odour considerably various from that of the various other halogens; chlorine (Cl), bromine (Br) and iodine (I).

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This is the 6th post to commemoprice the “International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements (IYPT2019)” by the United Nations General Assembly and UNESCO. Read the previous short article right here and stay tuned

Not only is fluorine of great interest to science but it has actually additionally uncovered its method right into film society, e.g. Star Trek: The First Contact in 1996:

Data: “The setting consists of high concentrations of methane, carbon monoxide and fluorine…”

Riker: “Life signs?”

Data: “Population around nine billion – all Borg.”

Fluorine is the many electronegative element, i.e. bonded to any various other element it will withattract electron thickness towards its very own core. This distinct property has not only made fluorine the anchor suggest of the extensively well-known Pauling electronegativity scale, it likewise considerably changes reactivity and properties of fluorine containing molecules and products compared to extensively used non-fluorinated ones.

Due to its high reactivity, fluorine nearly never shows up in its cost-free develop, F2. In nature, fluorine is generally uncovered in the reduced create as fluoride (F−) in compounds like fluorspar (CaF2), cryolite (Na3AlF6) or fluorapatite (Ca5(PO4)3F) to only point out a couple of. The latter is developed as a hard component of humale teeth. To introduce that fluoride in teeth, toothpaste regularly contains fluoride additives such as amine fluorides.

Elemental fluorine is all set by the electrochemical cleavage (electrolysis) of hydrogen fluoride (HF) right into its elements hydrogen (H2) and fluorine (F2). This procedure was initially arisen by Henri Mossian in 1886. Two years later on he was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry “in acknowledgment of the great services rendered by him in his examination and also isolation of the aspect fluorine (…)”.


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Figure 1. Current intake of elemental fluorine.
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Figure 2. Structure of ICI 182,780.

The annual F2 production in 2000 was about estimated at around 20’000 t. displays a chart offering a summary of the most necessary applications for elepsychological fluorine. The main application of neat fluorine is still the production of uranium hexafluoride (UF6), which is provided for the enrichment of 235U as nuclear fuel. Anvarious other large application of fluorine is the manufacturing of sulphur hexafluoride (SF6). The worldwide demand for this gas is approximated at 10’000 t per year. It is greatly provided as an insulator gas in high-voltage circuit breakers because of its high dielectric stamina, low toxicity and low retask. Nevertheless, in 1997 the consumption of SF6 was regulated in the Kyoto protocol due to its high ecological influence. In fact, SF6 is the hitherto most potent greenhouse gas, 23’900 times even more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2). Alterindigenous materials are rare and therefore still topic of existing research. When breathing SF6 the voice is significantly deepened, the opposite effect to the “helium voice”. Beyond that, mixtures of neat fluorine via nitrogen can be used in the automobile market for fluoricountry of fuel tanks – such a fluorinated surconfront stays clear of the permeability of fuels.

The simplest and also widely supplied fluorine-containing compound is hydrogen fluoride (HF) through a production of 1*106 t per year. A distinct residential or commercial property of hydrogen fluoride is its retask in the direction of glass which is not reactive to almost any other chemical. This property likewise provides HF beneficial as an etching agent for glass.

Fully or partially fluorinated organic materials also play a far-ranging function in our day-to-day life. Prominent representatives belengthy to the course of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Comparable to SF6 they present low retask and also low toxicity and they were widely offered as refrigerants and fire-extinguishing agents. Due to their substantial ozone depletion potential (ODP) and also global warming potential (GWP), they were highly regulated in the Montreal protocol in 1987. More environmentally friendly alternatives are hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs). Liquid fluorocarbons are in general not miscible via water or timeless organic solvents. Perfluorinated liquids tend to accumulate in the so-called “fluorophilic phase” which exhibits exceptional properties including an extraordinarily high gas disfixing potential. For instance, at room temperature perfluorohexane (C6F14) has actually even more than 70 % greater oxygen disfixing capacity than hexane (C6H14). This permits mammals to breathe in oxygen saturated perfluorinated liquids, so-called liquid ventilation (LV), which is provided to treat respiratory illness. An even more vital application is the use of the radioenergetic 18F isotope in the positron emission tomography (PET), a tool for cancer diagnostics.

So much, organic and inorganic products through fairly high fluorine content were debated below. But low fluorinated compounds additionally play a vital duty, especially in pharmaceutical and also farming chemisattempt. In 2014 about 25 % of all drugs consisted of at least one fluorine atom. For instance, the a lot of widely supplied drug in the treatment of breast cancer (ICI 182,780, Figure 2) includes a partially fluorinated alkyl tail. In fact, it is even more potent than the non-fluorinated derivative. It is surprising that the development of fluorine atoms in pharmaceutically active compounds is helpful because the huge majority of drugs are derivatives of natural products or are inspired by nature. It was not until 1943 that the initially fluorine-containing organic product was uncovered, i.e. sodium monofluoroacetate, a monofluorinated, poisonous derivative of acetic acid. In 2014 almost 25 % of all agrochemical commodities offered contained one or even more fluorine atoms. Hence, fluorinated products make an essential contribution to global food protection.

Amongst the halogens, fluorine, chlorine, bromine, and also iodine, fluorine is the many reactive one. It develops compounds via all various other elements except the noble gases helium (He), neon (Ne) and also argon (Ar), whereas secure compounds through krypton (Kr) and xenon (Xe) are developed. The synthesis of these noble gas compounds by Neil Bartlett, and shortly thereafter by Rudolf Hoppe, marked a paradigm shift in the reactivity of noble gases, which were when thought to be fully inert.

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In general, extreme caution need to be worked out as soon as working with elepsychological fluorine and some of the fluorinated inorganic compounds. Nonetheless, this should not stop chemists from trying out the chemistry of this amazing facet through its distinct reactivity and also the potential to discover amazing and also novel fluorine-containing materials. Fluorine is therefore an element of extremes which can still bring us many type of surprises in the future.