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The Liquefaction of Fluorine

Nature volume 57, page 82 | Download Citation

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Abstract

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.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/057082a0

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