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.