Fluorine / F₂
Threshold limit value
Fluorine : Description and use
Difluorine (F₂) is a diatomic element, for which the molecules are made up of two fluorine atoms. This gas was isolated in 1886 by the French chemist Henri Moissan.
Under normal temperature and pressure conditions, difluorine is a pale yellow gas with an irritating odour and is difficult to liquefy. It attacks the mucous membranes, skin, teeth and eyes.
Difluorine is one of the most reactive chemical elements, all of its reactions are highly exothermic. It reacts with practically every substance except for three noble gases (helium, neon and argon), some fluorinated organic polymers (teflons in particular) and some special alloys. Mixed with other chemical compounds, including isopropyl alcohol, it is used to manufacture sarin gas.
Flammability: Fluorine is a non-flammable gas in air but it is an extremely energetic oxidising agent. It can cause fires and explosions if it comes into contact with large amounts of minerals or organic products.
Fluorine in its gaseous state is used relatively infrequently due to its extreme reactivity and the difficulties surrounding its transport and handling. It does have some uses, including:
- Chemical industry: agent in mineral and organic syntheses.
- Nuclear industry: in the preparation of uranium hexafluoride.
- Space research: combustion agent for rocket propulsion.
Fluorine : Warnings and caution
H270 - May cause or intensify fire; oxidiser.
H314 - Causes severe skin burns and eye damage.
H330 - Fatal if inhaled.
Fluorine : Related products