Fluorine

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Fluorine is a halogen too toxic and far too reactive to be considered for use in a home chemistry setting. It is one of the most powerful oxidizers known. Fluorine has the chemical symbol F.

Properties

Chemical

Fluorine is so reactive that it will react and oxidize most known substances, often bursting them into flames if done near room temperature. This includes glass and unpassivated steel.

When the gas is needed, a specialized nickel alloy (commonly monel or some other cupronickel alloy) is used for any tubing as it forms a passivation layer that prevents the destructive oxidation that would occur if any other material was used.

Physical

Fluorine is a pale yellow color, although very specialized equipment is needed to see this color. It is nearly impossible to store in a way that it can be viewed, due to its extreme reactivity.

Availability

Very few businesses have or need the facilities to cope with elemental fluorine, so obtaining a cylinder of the gas is basically impossible (and suicidal without highly specialized equipment).

Even element samples are virtually impossible to make or obtain due to the inability to store fluorine without it reacting. Since it reacts with glass, calcium fluoride is often substituted for fluorine in an element collection. It may, however, be possible to store impure fluorine mixed with helium without risking contamination or destruction of the sample.

Preparation

A method of producing fluorine purely chemically was discovered, but it is highly obscure and requires chemicals like antimony pentafluoride (which requires fluorine to be produced anyway). The only method therefore is electrolysis of molten ammonium bifluoride.

Projects

  • Do something else

Safety

Do not attempt to make this gas. There's a reason some of the people who did research on fluorine are known as "fluorine martyrs." Apart from extreme reactivity issues, all fluoride salts are highly toxic and high amounts of toxic hydrogen fluoride will be made in any attempt. There are much better things to do in chemistry, so why not try something that you will survive. Neither is it a cheap, useful, or painless way to commit suicide, as it starts fires on contact with anything it touches.

References

Relevant Sciencemadness threads