- Chemistry Notes for UPSC IAS Prelims (Part II)
- Chemistry - Home
- Chemistry - Introduction
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- Chemistry - Metals
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- Chemistry - Mercury
- Chemistry - Plutonium
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- Elements With Their Valence
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- Chemistry - Nobel Prize
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Chemistry - Mercury
Mercury is a chemical element, which usually known as ‘quicksilver.’
Formerly, mercury was named as ‘hydrargyrum.’
The symbol of mercury is ‘Hg’ and atomic number is ‘80.’
The red pigment vermilion is extracted by grinding either natural cinnabar or synthetic mercuric sulfide.
Salient Features of Mercury
Mercury is a heavy and silvery-white metal.
Mercury usually available in liquid state; in normal condition, it is only the few metallic element that remains in liquid state at room temperature.
Mercury is the poor conductor of heat, but it is a good conductor of the electricity.
The freezing point of mercury is −38.830C and the boiling point is 356.730C.
Mercury poisoning caused because of the ingesting any form of mercury. It is also caused by inhalation of mercury vapor.
Mercury dissolves many metals including gold and silver to form amalgams.
Occurrence of Mercury
Mercury is one of the rarest element in the earth’s crust.
The richest mercury ores carry about 2.5 percent mercury (in terms of mass).
Mercury is found either as a native (natural) element) or in corderoite, cinnabar, livingstonite, etc. minerals.
Mercury is found the region of young mountain belt; the belt that keep forcing the denser rocks to the crust of the earth. For example, volcanic region or even hot spring regions.
Alloys of Mercury
Amalgam is the major alloy of mercury.
Compounds of Mercury
Following are the major compounds of Mercury −
Mercury (II) chloride - HgCl2
Mercury (II) oxide - HgO
Mercury sulfide - HgS
Mercury (I) – chloride - Hg2Cl2
Dimethylmer - C2H6Hg
Mercury (II) nitrate - Hg(NO3)2
Mercury (II) acetate - C4H6O4Hg
Mercury (II) sulfate - HgSO4
Mercury (I) iodide - Hg2I2
Mercury selenide - HgSe
Mercury (II) fulminate - Hg(CNO)2
Mercury (II) bromide - HgBr2
Mercury (II) iodide - HgI2
Mercury (I) oxide - Hg2O
Mercury (I) fluoride - Hg2F2
Mercuric amidochloride - ClH2HgN
Diethylmercury - C4H10Hg
Uses of Mercury
Mercury is largely used in chemical industries.
Mercury is used in electrical and electronic application.
Mercury is used in the thermometers that we use to measure the temperature.
Mercury along with its compounds are commonly used in various medicines.