- Fluorine comes from a calcium salt called calcium fluoride, or fluorspar.
- Fluorspar is mined and then treated with sulphuric acid at a high temperature to release hydrogen fluoride (HF).
- Hydrogen fluoride is then made to react with other compounds to create fluorochemicals.
- Fluorine is a highly reactive element used to make fluorochemicals,
- It is used to produce plastics, agrochemicals, lithium-ion batteries, and drugs.
- Issues with hydrogen fluoride
- A major downside of this process is that HF is an extremely poisonous and corrosive liquid that irritates the eyes and respiratory tract even at low concentrations.
- t also requires special transportation and storage requirements.
- Hydrogen fluoride spills have occurred numerous times in the last decades, sometimes with fatal accidents and detrimental environmental effects.
- New procedure to obtain fluorine atoms
- To avoid HF and to make the extraction process requires less energy, the researchers took inspiration from how the human body makes bones and teeth: through calcium phosphate biomineralisation.
- They ground fluorspar in a ball-mill with potassium phosphate.
- While fluorine is very reactive, calcium atoms prefer phosphorus even more, so the milling created calcium phosphate and another compound with fluorine atoms. They called the latter Fluoromix.
- When Fluoromix was reacted with organic compounds, it could create around 50 fluorochemicals with up to 98% yield.
Q1) What is the role of calcium in the human body?
Calcium is an essential mineral for the human body, playing a crucial role in various biological processes, including bone formation, muscle contraction, nerve function, and blood clotting.