Volume 90 Issue 29 | p. 8 | News of The Week
Issue Date: July 16, 2012

First Fluorine Gas Found In Nature

Analytical Chemistry: Researchers resolve long-debated stink from a fluorite mineral
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Analytical SCENE, Materials SCENE
Keywords: minerals, fluorine, geology

Fluorine gas (F2), which has been called chemistry’s hellcat, is so reactive that chemists have long assumed it does not occur in nature. Now researchers in Munich have evidence that the gas exists naturally, trapped inside a dark purple fluorite mineral called antozonite (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., DOI: 10.1002/anie.201203515).

The discovery resolves a nearly 200-year-old debate about why the mineral, known as “stinkspar” or “fetid fluorite,” smells so bad when it is crushed. Since antozonite . . .

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