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Chapter: 11th Chemistry : Alkali and Alkaline Earth Metals

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Uses of alkaline earth metals

Chemistry : Alkaline Earth Metals : Uses of alkaline earth metals

Uses of alkaline earth metals

 

Uses of beryllium

 

1. Because of its low atomic number and very low absorption for X-rays, it is used as radiation windows for X-ray tubes and X-ray detectors.

2. The sample holder in X-ray emission studies usually made of beryllium

3. Since beryllium is transparent to energetic particles it is used to build the ‘beam pipe’ in accelerators.

4. Because of its low density and diamagnetic nature, it is used in various detectors.

 

Uses of magnesium

 

1. Removal of sulphur from iron and steel

2. Refining of titanium  in the “Kroll” process.

3. Used as photoengrave plates in printing industry.

4. Magnesium alloys are used in aeroplane and missile construction.

5. Mg ribbon is used in synthesis of Grignard reagent in organic synthesis.

6. It alloys with aluminium to improve its mechanical, fabrication and welding property.

7. As a desiccant .

8. As sacrificial anode in controlling galvanic corrosion.

 

Uses of calcium

 

1. As a reducing agent in the metallurgy of uranium, zirconium and thorium.

2. As a deoxidiser, desulphuriser or decarboniser for various ferrous and non-ferrous alloys.

3. In making cement and mortar to be used in construction.

4. As a getter in vacuum tubes.

5. In dehydrating oils

6. In fertilisers, concrete and plaster of paris.

 

Uses of strontium

 

1. 90Sr is used in cancer therapy.

2. 87Sr / 86Sr ratios are commonly used in marine investigations as well as in teeth, tracking animal migrations or in criminal forensics.

3. Dating of rocks.

4. As a radioactive tracer in determining the source of ancient archaeological materials such as timbers and coins.

 

Uses of Barium

 

1. Used in metallurgy, its compounds are used in pyrotechnics, petroleum mining and radiology.

2. Deoxidiser in copper refining.

3. Its alloys with nickel readily emits electrons hence used in electron tubes and in spark plug electrodes.

4. As a scavenger to remove last traces of oxygen and other gases in television and other electronic tubes.

5. An isotope of barium 133Ba, used as a source in the calibration of gamma ray detectors in nuclear chemistry.

 

Uses of Radium

 

Used in self-luminous paints for watches, nuclear panels, aircraft switches, clocks and instrument dials.

 

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