The Discovery Of Fluorine

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 this in the name of Science, and there quest to find new elements.
That can accomplish many new wonderful things such as the separation of
uranium. That we can use in Nuclear power plants to supply 3 percent of the
world's power and in nuclear weapons so powerful they can only be used for
peace keeping.
But Fluorine can also be used for other useful things like
in pharmaceuticals, , insecticides, and high energy fuels. Hey these fuels
can be used to make dragsters faster or help in NASA's quest.