Selenium | Properties | Uses | and Facts - Elements and Compounds


Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Selenium | Properties | Uses | and Facts

Properties Uses and Facts about Selenium

    What is Selenium

    Selenium is classified as a nonmetal, and chemically selenium is an element. Selenium is found in many different forms (Allotropes). Selenium's symbol is Se, atomic number is 34 and its atomic mass is 78.96 amu. An atom of selenium has 34 electrons, 34 protons, 45 neutrons and 4 energy levels. In the Periodic Table, Selenium is located in Group 16, Period 4 and Block P. Selenium has a density of 4.79 grams per cubic centimeter. Selenium is found in the solid state at room temperature, its melting point is 217 °C (422.6 °F), and its boiling point is 685 °C (1265 °F).

    Selenium was discovered by the Swedish chemist Jons Jacob Berzelius in 1817.
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    Selenium Properties Uses and Facts

    Properties of Selenium

    • Selenium is found in many different forms (Allotropes), but mainly its two forms are found. The first is a reddish powder, which looks mainly like a lump of clay, and the second is a silvery colored substance with a slight blue tint, which appears like a metal.
    • Selenium is a semi-conductor. Semi-conductors are substances that conduct electricity better than non-conductive substances (such as wood, rubber, etc.), but conduct less electricity than conductive substances (such as silver, copper, iron).
    • Selenium is a photoconductor substance, photoconductors are substances that convert light into electrical energy.
    • According to the amount of light falling on selenium, its electrical conductivity is affected, as when more light falls, the electrical conductivity of selenium increases and when less light falls, the electrical conductivity decreases.
    • Selenium has the property of converting AC current into DC current.
    • Selenium is a chemically reactive element, reacting readily with hydrogen, fluorine, chlorine and bromine.
    • The surface tension of liquid selenium is very high.

    Uses of Selenium

    • Selenium is most commonly used in glass making and in the electronics industry.
    • Selenium is used in the production of solar cells.
    • The electrical conductivity of selenium is affected according to the light falling on it, so due to this property selenium is used in cameras and photocopy machines.
    • Selenium is used in the production of stainless-steel.
    • Selenium is used in rectifier devices. Rectifiers are devices that convert AC current to DC current.
    • Selenium is used in electronics devices like computers, mobiles, electronic games etc.
    • Some selenium compounds are used to give red color to glass.
    • Selenium is used to make pigments for ceramics, plastics and paints.
    • Selenium is toxic to the fungus responsible for dandruff, hence it is used in anti-dandruff shampoos.
    • Selenium is used to make vulcanized rubber better anti-friction.
    • Sodium-selenite is used in animal feed.

    Interesting Facts about Selenium

    • Selenium and tellurium are found together in the earth, they are related to each other and some of their properties are also similar.
    • Selenium is a rare element, its trace amounts are widely distributed in the earth's crust. Therefore, it does not have a main ore from which to obtain it, so selenium is obtained as a by-product when mining other metals. Selenium is mainly obtained from the ores of copper, iron and lead.
    • Selenium is much more rare than silver.
    • Selenium is an essential nutrient for us, we need it in trace amounts, and about 14 mg of selenium is present in our body. Selenium deficiency in the body causes many health problems, but its excess in the body is toxic.
    • Selenium provides protection against mercury poisoning.

    Detailed Information on Some other Elements

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