The Element: Chlorine Essay

1066 words - 4 pages

The Element: Chlorine

General Information

We researched the chemical element known as chlorine. Chlorine has
an atomic number of 17 and an atomic weight of 35.453. It has a
valence number of 3. The element has 3 energy levels. Chlorine exists
as a greenish-yellow gas at normal temperatures and pressures. Chlorine
is second in reactivity only to fluorine among the halogen elements.
Chlorine is a nonmetal. It is estimated that 0.045% of the earth’s
crust and 1.9% of sea water are chlorine. Chlorine combines with
metals and nonmetals and organic materials to form hundreds of
chlorine compounds. Chlorine is about 2.5 times as dense as air and
moderately soluble in water, forming a pale yellowish green solution.
Chlorine is so reactive that it never occurs free in nature.

Chemical Properties

Chlorine is in the halogen family, and like all the other
halogen elements chlorine has a strong tendency to gain one electron
and become a chloride ion. Chlorine readily reacts with metals to form
chlorides, most of which are soluble in water. Chlorine also reacts
directly with many nonmetals such as sulfur, phosphorus, and other
halogens. Chlorine can support combustion; if a candle were to be thrown
into a vessel of chlorine, it would continue to burn, releasing dense,
black clouds of smoke, The chlorine combines with hydrogen of the
paraffin, forming hydrogen chloride, and uncombined carbon is left in
the form of soot. Soot is black residue from fuel. Chlorine replaces
iodine and bromine from their salts. Dry chlorine is somewhat inert or
not able to move, but moist chlorine unites directly with most of the
elements.

History
Chlorine was discovered in 1774 by Karl Scheele. Humphry Davy
proved that chlorine was an element. Extensive production began 100
years later. During the 20th Century. The amount of Chlorine used was
considered a measure of industrial growth. In, 1975 chlorine
productions ranked seventh on the list of largest-volume chemicals
produced in the United States. The importance of chlorine has changed
as new uses have been added. In 1925 paper and pulp used over one-
half . The chlorine made and chemical products only 10%. By the 1960’s
paper and pulp use accounted for only 15-17% and the chemical uses
increased to 75-80%. Peoples uses have contributed to the growth of
large cities, and new textiles, plastics, paints, and miscellaneous uses
have raised man’s standard of living. Many large companies are based
primarily on the manufacture of chlorine and its compounds. In 1978
17% of the United States production went into the production of vinyl
chloride monomer. Other chlorinated organics consumed 48% of United
States Production.

Toxicity and Precautions

Chlorine was used in World War I as a poison gas. In fact
most poisonous gases have chlorine in them. Chlorine is very corrosive
to moist tissue and has a very irritating effect on the lungs and
mucous membranes of the nose and throat. Inhalation of chlorine gas
can cause edema of the...

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