The beryllium concentration of the Earth's surface rocks is ca. 4–6 ppm. Beryllium is a constituent of about 100 out of about 4000 known minerals, the most important of which are bertrandite (Be4Si2O7(OH)2), beryl (Al2Be3Si6O18), chrysoberyl (Al2BeO4), and phenakite (Be2SiO4). Precious forms of beryl are aquamarine, bixbite and emerald.
Industrial production of fluorine entails the electrolysis of hydrogen fluoride in the presence of potassium fluoride. This method is based on the pioneering studies by Moissan (see below). Fluorine gas forms at the anode, and hydrogen gas at the cathode. Under these conditions, the potassium fluoride (KF) converts to potassium bifluoride (KHF2), which is the actual electrolyte. This potassium bifluoride aids electrolysis by greatly increasing the electrical conductivity of the solution.
- HF + KF → KHF2
- 2 KHF2 → 2 KF + H2 + F2
The HF required for the electrolysis is obtained as a byproduct of the production of phosphoric acid. Phosphate-containing minerals contain significant amounts of calcium fluorides, such as fluorite. Upon treatment with sulfuric acid, these minerals release hydrogen fluoride:
- CaF2 + H2SO4 → 2 HF + CaSO4
In 1986, when preparing for a conference to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of fluorine, Karl Christe discovered a purely chemical preparation involving the reaction of solutions in anhydrous HF, K2MnF6, and SbF5 at 150 °C:
- 2 K2MnF6 + 4 SbF5 → 4 KSbF6 + 2 MnF3 + F2
In nature, chlorine is found primarily as the chloride ion, a component of the salt that is deposited in the earth or dissolved in the oceans — about 1.9% of the mass of seawater is chloride ions. Even higher concentrations of chloride are found in the Dead Sea and in underground brine deposits. Most chloride salts are soluble in water, thus, chloride-containing minerals are usually only found in abundance in dry climates or deep underground. Common chloride minerals include halite (sodium chloride), sylvite (potassium chloride), and carnallite (potassium magnesium chloride hexahydrate). Over 2000 naturally-occurring organic chlorine compounds are known.
Industrially, elemental chlorine is usually produced by the electrolysis of sodium chloride dissolved in water. Along with chlorine, this chloralkali process yields hydrogen gas and sodium hydroxide, according to the following chemical equation:
- 2 NaCl + 2 H2O → Cl2 + H2 + 2 NaOH
- Main article: Isotopes of chlorine
Trace amounts of radioactive 36Cl exist in the environment, in a ratio of about 7x10−13 to 1 with stable isotopes. 36Cl is produced in the atmosphere by spallation of 36Ar by interactions with cosmic ray protons. In the subsurface environment, 36Cl is generated primarily as a result of neutron capture by 35Cl or muon capture by 40Ca. 36Cl decays to 36S and to 36Ar, with a combined half-life of 308,000 years. The half-life of this hydrophilic nonreactive isotope makes it suitable for geologic dating in the range of 60,000 to 1 million years. Additionally, large amounts of 36Cl were produced by irradiation of seawater during atmospheric detonations of nuclear weapons between 1952 and 1958. The residence time of 36Cl in the atmosphere is about 1 week. Thus, as an event marker of 1950s water in soil and ground water, 36Cl is also useful for dating waters less than 50 years before the present. 36Cl has seen use in other areas of the geological sciences, including dating ice and sediments.
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
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- ↑ K. Christe (1986). "Chemical synthesis of elemental fluorine". Inorg. Chem. 25: 3721–3724. doi:10.1021/ic00241a001.
- ↑ "Risk assessment and the cycling of natural organochlorines". Euro Chlor. Retrieved on 2007-08-12.