Element of the month - Lithium & Selenium

2019-08-12

This year it's 150 years ago that Dmítriy Ivánovich Mendeléyev first published the Periodic Law that would later become the periodic table. Unesco has decided to celebrate this by calling 2019 "International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements" (IYPT).

Lithium and Selenium is the sixth and seventh element in our series of elements found by Swedish researchers.

Lithium was discovered by Johan August Arfwedson, then working in the laboratory of the chemist Jöns Jakob Berzelius, detected the presence of a new element while analyzing petalite ore. This element formed compounds similar to those of sodium and potassium, though its carbonate and hydroxide were less soluble in water and less alkaline. Berzelius gave the alkaline material the name "lithion/lithina". Lithium is likely most known for it's inclusion in rechargable lithium-ion batteries.

Selenium was discovered by Jöns Jakob Berzelius and Johan Gottlieb Gahn. Both chemists owned a chemistry plant near Gripsholm, Sweden, producing sulfuric acid by the lead chamber process. Pyrite from a mine in Falun created a red precipitate in the lead chambers. Berzelius and Gahn wanted to use the pyrite and they also observed that the red precipitate gave off a smell like horseradish when burned. This smell was not typical of arsenic, but a similar odor was known from tellurium compounds. However, the lack of tellurium compounds in the Falun mine minerals eventually led Berzelius to reanalyze the red precipitate, and in 1818 he wrote a second letter to Marcet describing a newly found element similar to sulfur and tellurium. Because of its similarity to tellurium, named for the Earth, Berzelius named the new element after the Moon.

Selenium is usually found in multivitamin and dietary supplements.

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Element of the month - Lithium & Selenium

2019-08-12

This year it's 150 years ago that Dmítriy Ivánovich Mendeléyev first published the Periodic Law that would later become the periodic table. Unesco has decided to celebrate this by calling 2019 "International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements" (IYPT).

Lithium and Selenium is the sixth and seventh element in our series of elements found by Swedish researchers.

Lithium was discovered by Johan August Arfwedson, then working in the laboratory of the chemist Jöns Jakob Berzelius, detected the presence of a new element while analyzing petalite ore. This element formed compounds similar to those of sodium and potassium, though its carbonate and hydroxide were less soluble in water and less alkaline. Berzelius gave the alkaline material the name "lithion/lithina". Lithium is likely most known for it's inclusion in rechargable lithium-ion batteries.

Selenium was discovered by Jöns Jakob Berzelius and Johan Gottlieb Gahn. Both chemists owned a chemistry plant near Gripsholm, Sweden, producing sulfuric acid by the lead chamber process. Pyrite from a mine in Falun created a red precipitate in the lead chambers. Berzelius and Gahn wanted to use the pyrite and they also observed that the red precipitate gave off a smell like horseradish when burned. This smell was not typical of arsenic, but a similar odor was known from tellurium compounds. However, the lack of tellurium compounds in the Falun mine minerals eventually led Berzelius to reanalyze the red precipitate, and in 1818 he wrote a second letter to Marcet describing a newly found element similar to sulfur and tellurium. Because of its similarity to tellurium, named for the Earth, Berzelius named the new element after the Moon.

Selenium is usually found in multivitamin and dietary supplements.