Selenium is more brittle, lustrous, black on cross-sectional view non-metal. It is the 34th element of periodic system, where it is designated as Se. Its name derived from name of moon in Greek. Its content in earth crust constitutes about 500 mg/t. Sulfide deposit occurrences possess the main industrial importance. Sometimes, there can be met native impurities. Its concentration in ocean constitutes about 410-4 mg/l. This element is usually obtained out of slime from copper electrolytic industries.
By chemical properties, selenium is an analog of sulfur. It can be oxidizing agent with a valency of -6 or reducing agent with a valency of +2. Oxidizing is performed less intensively. It cannot burn in air by itself as sulfur can. It can be burnt up only after heating. It flames with a sickly blueish flame by turning into dioxide SeO2. It extensively reacts with alkali metals in molten state.
Se has a few modifications in hard state. Grey selenium is more resistant, red is amorphous and less resistant. Grey selenium smelts at heating and starts vaporizing with brown steam puffs at further heating. Steam is condensated in a form of red allotropic crystals at shock cooling.
Physical properties of Se
|Atomic (molal) weight mole/h||78.96|
|Oxidation rate||6, 4, -2|
|Melting heat kJ/mole||5.23|
|Heat conductivity K [V/m*K]||0.52|
|Evaporation heat kJ/mole||59.7|
The most important properties of many compounds of this element (selenides) are semi-conducting properties that are kept in alloy with other components. Nowadays, there are used selenides of bismuth, antimony, lead, tin, lanthanides for manufacture of modern semi-conductors. There are very important photoelectric and thermoelectric properties of selenides as well. 74 Se is a stable isotope that can serve as a basis for ultraviolet powerful plasma laser. Radioactive isotope 75 Se is utilized for flaw detection as a powerful source of gamma-rays. Microadditives are used in medicine, agriculture, pharmaceutical materials, vitamin products. Quality of engineering selenium is specified by GOST 10 298−79.
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