Beryllium Be (Element 4) of Periodic Table

04 Be (Beryllium Element)

beryllium element
Beryllium Element FlashCard

About Beryllium Element

Beryllium is a steel gray metal, and has many desirable properties. It is one of the Lightest metals with a high melting point. Its modulus of elasticity is about 1/3rd greater than that of steel.

beryllium element metal
Beryllium Element

It is relatively soft and has Low density, Excellent Thermal conductivity, and is Nonmagnetic. Due to these properties beryllium resists attack by concentrated Nitric acid, and at normal pressure and temperature it resist oxidation when exposes to air.

It has a high permeability to X-rays and when bombarded by Alpha particles, as from radium or polonium, neutrons are produced in the amount of about 30 neutrons/million alpha particles.

CAS Number: CAS7440-41-7
CID Number:  CID5460467
DOT Hazard Class:  6.1
DOT Number:  1567
RTECS Number:  RTECSDS1750000

Properties of Beryllium Element

Basic Properties of Beryllium

Pronunciation:  ba-ri-Lee-am / bə-ri-liəm
Appearance:  White-gray metallic
Mass Number:  9
Standard Atomic weight: 9.012 g/mol
Atomic number (Z):  4
Electrons: 4
Protons:  4
Neutrons:  5
Period:  2
Group:  2
Block:  S
Element category:  Alkaline earth metal
Electrons per shell:  K2, L2
Electron configuration: 1s22s2   

beryllium electron configuration
Beryllium Electron Configuration

Thermal Properties of Beryllium

Phase:  Solid
Melting point:  1560 K (1287 oC, 2349 oF)
Boiling point:   2742 K (2469 oC, 4476 oF)
Critical Temperature: 5202 K (4932 oC, 8909 oF)
Debye temperature:  1000 K (726.85 oC, 1340.33sx oF)
Fusion heat: 12.2 kJ/mol
Vaporization heat:  292 kJ/mol
Specific heat:  1820 J/(kg K)
Molar heat capacity:  16.442 J/(mol.K)
Thermal expansion: 11.3 μm/(m∙K)
Thermal conductivity:  200 W/(m∙K)
Neel Point (magnetic ordering temperature) TN N/A

Electrical properties of Beryllium

Electrical conductivity: 25 x106 S/m
a Electrical resistivity: 36 nΩ∙m
Electrical type:  Conductor
Critical point (Superconducting point):  0.026 K (-273.12 oC, -459.62 oF)

Magnetic Properties of Beryllium

Magnetic type:  Diamagnetic
Curie point: N/A
Magnetic susceptibility (xmol):  -9.0×10-6 cm3/mol
Volume magnetic susceptibility:  -0.00002328
Mass magnetic susceptibility:  -12.6×10-9 m3/kg
Molar magnetic susceptibility:  -0.1136×10-9 m3/mol

Physical Properties of Beryllium

Density:  1.85 g/cm3 (In solid)  1.69 g/cm3 (In Liquid at M.P)
Molar volume:  0.0000048767 m3/mol
Young’s modulus:  287 GPa
Shear modulus: 132 GPa
Mohs Hardness:  5.5
Bulk modulus: 130 GPa
Poisson ratio:  0.032
Vicker hardness: 1670 MPa
Brinell hardness:  590-1320 MPa
Sound Speed:  12,890 m/s

Atomic Properties of Beryllium 

Oxidation states:  +1, +2
Valence Electrons:  2s2
Ion charge:  Be2+
The ionization potential of an atom:  9.50 eV
Ionization energies:  1st: 899.5 kJ.mol 2nd: 1757.1 kJ/mol 3rd: 14,848.5 kJ/mol
Ionic radius:   35 pm
Atomic radius:  112 pm (empirical)
Van der Waals:  153 Pm
Covalent radius:  93±3 pm
Filling Orbital:  2s2
Crystal structure:  Hexagonal close-packed
Lattice angles:  π/2, π/2, 2π/3
Lattice constant:  228.6, 228.6, 358.4 pm
Grid parameters:  a=2.286 Å c=3.584 Å
Attitude c/a:  1.567
Space Group Name:  P63/mmc
Space Group Number:  194

Hexagonal Close Packed
Hexagonal Close Packed (HCP)

Reactivity of Beryllium

Electronegativity:  1.57 (pauling scale)
Valence:  2
Electron affinity:  0 kJ/mol

Nuclear Properties of Beryllium

Half Life:  Stable (Infinity) 
Lifetime:  Stable (Infinity)
Quantum Number:  1S0
Neutron cross section (Brans):  0.0092
Neutron Mass Absorption:  0.00003
Isotopes:  7Be9Be10Be   

Isotope Abundance (%) Atomic Mass g/mol Half Life (t1/2)
7Be Trace 53.12 Day
9Be 100 9.012 Stable
10Be Trace 1.39×106 y

Chemical Reactions of Beryllium Element

Reaction with Air

Beryllium is passivated by oxygen, and forming a BeO surface. Normally beryllium cannot be oxidized, but powdered beryllium can be burn in air, and forming Beryllium Oxide (BeO), and Beryllium Nitride (Be3N2).
2 Be (s) + O2 (g) → 2 BeO (s)
3 Be (s) + N2 (g) → Be3N2 (s)

Reaction with Water

Beryllium doesn’t react with water or steam, even if the metal is heated to red hot.

Reaction with Halogens

The metal reacts with chlorine and bromine, and forming the corresponding Beryllium (II) dihalides.
Be (s) + Cl2 (g) → BeCl2 (s)
Be (s) + Br2 (g) → BeBr2 (s)

Reaction with Acids

Beryllium is passivated by oxygen, and forming a beryllium oxide (BeO) which is resistant to acid. But on a fresh surface (without protective layer), beryllium dissolves readily in dilute acid such as Hydrochloric acid (HCl), Sulphuric acid (H2SO4), and Nitric acid (HNO3), and forming Beryllium (II) ions and hydrogen gas (H2).
Ba (s) + 2 H+ (aq) → Ba2+ (aq) + H2 (g)

Beryllium History

Naming:  From the mineral Beryl.
Discovery:  Nicolas Louis Vauquelin (1798) in Paris (France)
First isolation: Friedrich Wöhler & Antoine Bussy (1828)

Beryllium Uses

Beryllium is used as an alloying agent in the production of beryllium-copper (BeCu, 1-3% Be) or beryllium-nickel (BeNi), which is extensively used to make Gyroscopes, Electrical contacts, Springs, Spot-welding Electrodes, and Non-sparking tools.

Because of Its electrical and thermal conductivity, high strength and hardness, good resistance, non-magnetic properties, It also used in the Defense and Aerospace industries as a structural material for high-speed aircraft, Missiles, Spacecraft, and Communication Satellites.

Other uses are in brake discs, windshield frame, support beams, and other structural components of the space shuttle.

Beryllium is relatively transparent to X-rays, so ultra-thin Beryllium-foil is finding use in X-ray lithography for the reproduction of micro-miniature integrated circuits.
Be (Beryllium) is used in Nuclear reactors as a reflector or moderator of neutrons.

It is also used in Computer parts, and instruments where stiffness, lightness, and dimensional stability are required.

The oxide has a very high melting point, so it is also used in nuclear work and ceramic applications.

Biological role of Beryllium

Beryllium is not the crucial element for human, in fact the element and its compounds are Toxic & Carcinogenic and it should be handled with the greatest care. Even it should not be tasted to verify the sweetish nature of beryllium (as did early experimenters).

If humans breath or inhale the dust or fumes of beryllium, It can damage the Lungs, cause pneumonia, and can lead to an incurable (seriously ill) inflammation of the lungs called Berylliosis (chronic beryllium disease, CBD).

beryllium can also increase the chances of cancer development and DNA damage.

That’s why the metal, its alloys, and its salts should be handled with proper safeguards.

Be (Beryllium) occurs naturally in the environment in small amounts, while Humans add beryllium in the environment through production of metal and combustion of coal and oil.

Beryllium Element Sources

Beryllium Element is found in about 30 different mineral species, the most important of which are Bertrandite (beryllium sorosilicate hydroxide, Be4(Si2O7)(OH)2), Beryl (beryllium aluminium cyclosilicate, Be3Al2Si6O18), Chrysoberyl (BeAl2O4), and Phenakite (Be2SiO4).
Emerald and Aquamarine are the precious forms of beryl.

emerald beryl
Emerald Beryl with Calcite Mineral
Aquamarine beryl
Aquamarine Beryl Mineral
Bertrandite Mineral
Bertrandite Mineral

Bertrandite and Beryl are the most important commercial sources of the element. Most of the metal is prepared by reducing beryllium fluoride with magnesium metal.

The Beryllium content on Earth crust is about 2.6 ppm, in soil 6 ppm.

Total World wide Reserve of Beryllium ore is around 500,000 tonnes.
1×10-7% (In Universe)
2.9×10-6% (In Meteorites)
1×10-8% (In Sun)
0.00019% (In Earth’s Crust)
6×10-11% (In Oceans)
4×10-8% (In Humans)
World’s Top 3 producers of Beryllium
1) USA
2) China
3) Mozambique
World’s Top 3 Reserve holders of Beryllium
1) Unknown (likely USA)

Beryllium Element Price  

Pure (99.95%) metal price is around $700-$800 per 100 Gram ($7-$8 per Gram).

Database of Beryllium Element

Atomic Spectroscopic Data

ASD Line
ASD Levels
Ground States and Ionization Energies
Handbook of Basic ASD

Atomic and Molecular Data

→ Electron-Impact Cross Sections

Bibliographic Databases on Atomic Spectroscopy

Atomic Transition Probability Bibliographic Database
Atomic Spectral Line Broadening Bibliographic Database
Atomic Energy Levels and Spectra Bibliographic Database

X-Ray and Gamma Ray Data

X-ray Attenuation and Absorption for Materials of Dosimetric Interest
XCOM: Photon Cross Section Database
Form Factor, Attenuation, and Scattering Tabulation

Radiation Dosimetry Data

Electrons (ESTAR)
Helium Ions (ASTAR)
Protons (PSTAR)

Nuclear Physics Data

Isotopic Compositions

Condensed Matter Physics Data

Atomic Reference Data for Electronic Structure Calculations

Los Alamos National Laboratory
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Environmental Chemistry
Royal Society of Chemistry
Periodic Table
Web Elements
Michael Pilgaard’s Elements

More Elements FlashCards

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