|Atomic mass||18.998403 amu|
Fluorine, Fluorine, discovered in 1771. Fluorine, F2, is a gas and is the most reactive of all the nonmetals. Platinum, a material that is inert towards most other chemicals, corrodes in the presence of fluorine. Only a few of the noble gases resist reacting with fluorine.
Because it is such a strong oxidizing agent that it has not been produced by chemical oxidation of F- ions (i.e. after more than 170 years of trying). The pale yellow gas is prepared by electrolysis of a molten mixture of hydrogen fluoride and potassium fluoride.
There are many uses for fluorine. These include:
- fluorine as a fluorinating agent.
- the use of fluorinated organic compounds called fluorocarbons or chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) as refrigerants, lubricants, plastics, insecticides, and aerosol propellants.
- the use of Teflon, for nonstick surfaces on cooking utensils and in applications where inert surfaces are required. One such application is artificial valves for the heart.
- the use of gaseous F2 in the production of volatile uranium hexafluoride, UF6, which is used for nuclear fuel,
- the production of SF6 for use as electrical insulator, and
- F- ions to prevent dental tooth decay, especially in children.
It also occurs in small amounts in sea water, teeth, bones and blood.
Fluorine occurs as F- ions in minerals in large quantities:
- fluorspar or fluorite, CaF2,
- cryolite, Na3AlF6, and
- fluoroapatite, Ca5(PO4)3F.