Fluorine is an extremely reactive and poisonous gas. But who discovered fluorine? This post will answer that question and then tell you a few interesting facts about fluorine.
Who Discovered Fluorine?
From 1812 to 1886, many chemists experimented with hydrofluoric acid believing that they could obtain a new element from the acid. Humphry Davy, Caroline Menard, Antoine Lavoisier and Louis Thenard were some of the chemists that experimented with the acid. However, none could obtain fluorine. In 1886, Henri Moissan became the first person to isolate fluorine and identify it as a unique element. This earned Moissan the 1906 Nobel Prize in chemistry.
Summary: Henri Moissan discovered fluorine in 1886.
Interesting Facts About Fluorine
- While fluorine is not an essential nutrients for plants or animals, it can help prevent tooth decay.
- Only one isotope of fluorine is stable (fluorine-19). All others are radioactive and have very small half-lives.
- Fluorine is incredibly reactive! It reacts explosively with hydrogen even in dark, cool conditions. Metals, water and most other substances burn with a very bright flame in a stream of fluorine gas.
- About one-fifth (20%) of pharmaceutical drugs contain fluorine.
- Pure fluorine gas is obtained by the electrolysis of hydrogen fluoride in the presence of potassium fluoride. Hydrogen gas is also formed by this process.