A shiny silvery liquid metal most common in industrial uses is none other but mercury often named as the quick silver. The metal remains in its transitional state and bears an atomic number 80 with an atomic weight of 200.59 and well known by the symbol Hg
Not only prominent in the periodic table mercury is also high in demand across the industry with so many active liquid mercury buyers from all over the world. Since it is the one of its kind metal that remains liquid at a room temperature and pressure, as well with a high surface tension it that gives it a form of spherical beads of liquids
Despite the fact that mercury and its amalgams are highly hazardous, the therapeutic benefits yet cannot be ignored. Being a potentially rare element at the earths’ surface the mercury holds to be 0.08 parts in millions. It’s particularly extracted from the mineral cinnabar that is a mercuric sulfide, and another source of red pigment.
The wonderful traits of mercury
A non-reactive metal to acids, since mercury is more of an insulator when it comes to heat as compared to other metals that exhibit good conduction of heat and electricity. Not being good at conducting heat mercury also serves as the minor electricity conductor in comparison to other metals. Though mercury often remains in either positive 1 or positive 2 state however sometimes it exhibits a positive 4 state. As the electronic distribution causes mercury to exhibit traits such as noble gas that is the respective elements makes weaker bond with other elements. With its wonderful ability to form amalgams with every other metal mercury fails to make amalgams with iron providing us with an amazing choice to transport liquid mercury and preserve it for longer periods.
The only element with its alchemy name
The element was named after the Roman ruler mercury as he was famous for its swiftness and is the only element that is known for its primitive name, the element dates back to its discovery for 2000s BC while vessels filled with the purest forms of liquid mercury are found in the Egyptian tombs that states to 1500s BC
Mercury as the major component
Mercury serves as the major component for fluorescent lamps, thermometers, dentals fillings, float valves, used in several medications and help to produce other chemicals as well as making liquid mirrors, batteries, barometers and pesticides
Nonetheless, mercury is highly hazardous, it is highly penetrative as well and with a single touch, inhalation and consumption its deposits in our body and can cause potential damage to health. Excessive consumption can lead to poisoning and higher risks of deaths
One should be highly careful while handling mercury containing accessories such as thermometer or a solid fluorescent light bulb. Hence it contributes to the concern of people once mercury is released into the flowing rivers and dumped in the oceans as industrial wastes, that is often consumed by the fishes in the end reaching the human stomach
Mercury in air crafts
While on the aircrafts the metal is not allowed since it rapid in making reactions with aluminum a metal quite common on aircrafts, as mercury reacts with aluminum the oxide layer is damaged causing aluminum corrosion in the similar way as the iron metal rusts
The origins and extraction of mercury
A larger amount of mercury is extracted from the mineral called cinnabar that is rich in mercury accounting for 86% reserves since the roman era till today mercury has been extracted from the cinnabar. Rocks such as limestone, shale, slate and sandstone with depicting veins that are reddish brown contains cinnabar, while in rare forms the cinnabar is seen as deep red gems embellished in rocks