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The Discovery of Fluorine

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The isolation of fluorine had challenged chemist for many years, taking

the lives of at least two scientists in the process. Fluorine receives its

name from the Latin, fluo, meaning flow.

The first real attempt to free

fluorine, was done by a chemist by the name of Humphyry Davy, between the years

of (1811-1813). He first tried to liberate the element by using the chemical

methods, but this failed. He then went on to try and electrolysis process using

batteries. The problem with this was that the electrolytes used either produced

Hydrogen and Oxygen or fluoric acid in vapor form, making it difficult to study.

He then went on to fashion a electrochemical cell from horn silver because

the hydrogen fluoride attacked glass. But this also failed , his hydrogen

fluoride contained water. Davy gave up.

Next Louis-Joseph Gay-Lussac and

Louis-Jacques Thenard were able to create a liquid hydrogen fluoride free of

water. But it doesn't conducted the electricity needed for electrolysis. Thus

ended their weak attempts to create fluorine.

In 1834, Faraday (God of Electrolysis),

used the electrolysis of lead fluoride in platinum vessels to yield fluoride

vapors, HORAA! But no after rigorous examination he too failed.

Then along

came a student of Faraday, Henri Moissan, he used electrolysis with hydrogen

fluoride and Fremy's method , the result ,a yellow gas fluoride. Finally after

the loss several scientists lives, not to mention the pain and suffering felt

at the hands of chemists while strange chemicals ate through their vital organs.

All of

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