Category - Uncategorized

All about Nitrogen

Nitrogen (N) in it’s normal state is a colourless and odourless gas. It is highly abundant and makes up a whopping 79% of the air that we breathe. It is relatively unreactive and the atoms happily exist in pairs as N2 molecules as a gas at normal temperatures and pressures. Although nitrogen is a gas ...

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All about Phosphorus

Phosphorus is a fairly abundant element which is vital for life. It is highly reactive and quickly oxidises in the presence of oxygen and so it is usually found in the form of phosphate (P2O5). It’s energetic reactivity makes it excellent for energy storage and for fuelling the metabolism in plants and animals. One place ...

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All about Potassium

Potassium is the last of the 3 macronutrients and is symbolised by the letter “K”. It is a grey-coloured alkali metal and its name, in arabic, is “Kalium” which means “plant ashes” because it can be sourced from burned plant matter. Because of this, it is also sometimes called “Potash” and that is where we ...

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All about Calcium

Calcium (Ca) is an alkali metal which is quite reactive and it can commonly be found in a mineral form such as lime (calcium carbonate). The surface of it quickly becomes tarnished to a dark colour when it is exposed to air. It is a vital nutrient to almost all living things. Milk is a ...

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All about Magnesium

Magnesium (Mg) is one of the alkaline earth metals with a shiny grey appearance. It is quite abundant making up 13% of the earth’s mass and is the third most common element in seawater. A common demonstration in high school chemistry class is to burn a small piece of magnesium. Many people will probably remember ...

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All about Sulphur

Sulphur (S) (the American spelling is “sulfur”) is a bright yellow element in abundance on earth. In its pure form it is a crystalline but rather powdery solid at normal temperatures. In ancient times it was called “brimstone” (or “burning stone”) and burns with a characteristic blueish flame, giving off the toxic gases sulphur dioxide ...

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All about Boron

Boron is a grey metalloid element which is only created in nature when stars go supernova or by the action of cosmic rays on other elements. This accounts for why it is not very abundant. It is generally used for making fibreglass, polymers, ceramics and borosilicate glass. It can also be used to make a ...

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All about Chlorine

Chlorine (Cl), in its natural form, is an incredibly reactive yellow-green gas. Fortunately, most chlorine is tied up in chloride salt compounds such as table salt (NaCl, sodium chloride). Chloride is very abundant on earth, particularly, in the form of salt in the Earth’s vast oceans and seas. Elemental chlorine is very toxic to all ...

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All about Manganese

Manganese (Mn) is a metal with a silvery appearance which is usually found in nature in minerals, particularly in combination with iron. It is used in many types of alloys, including stainless steel. It is also used for making pigments and certain manganese compounds are powerful oxidising agents. Although manganese is highly important in animals ...

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All about Zinc

Zinc is metal with a silvery appearance with a very slight blue tint. It is reasonably abundant in nature, most usually in the form of zinc sulphide. It shares some chemical characteristics with magnesium. Zinc has many industrial uses from doping silicon to produce semiconductor materials to producing paints, adhesives and batteries to name just ...

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