News | Published:

The Liquefaction of Fluorine

Naturevolume 57page82 (1897) | Download Citation



FLUORINE was prepared for the first time in 1886 by Prof. Moissan, as a product of the electrolysis of anhydrous hydrogen fluoride contained in a platinum apparatus provided with fluorspar stoppers; the new gas was at once found to be the most active chemical substance known, many elements and organic compounds, such as arsenic, antimony, sulphur, iodine, alcohol, and turpentine, immediately and spontaneously bursting into flame when plunged into an atmosphere of fluorine. On mixing the gas with hydrogen, even in the dark, a violent detonation immediately occurs, hydrogen fluoride being produced. The violent action of fluorine upon nearly all substances with which it is brought into contact, obviously renders extremely difficult all experimental work involving the use of the free element. The great manipulative difficulties necessarily arising whilst dealing with the gas on the large scale have, however, been very happily surmounted by Prof. Moissan and Prof. Dewar, who recently described to the Chemical Society the method by which they have succeeded in liquefying fluorine, and determining the more important properties of the liquid substance (Proc. Chem. Soc, November 4, 1897, p. 175). It seemed likely that the great chemical activity of fluorine might so far decrease at low temperatures as to allow of the manipulation of the material in a glass vessel cooled in liquid air; this was found to be the case.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. Search for W. J. P. in:

About this article

Publication history

Issue Date



By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing