Mining Helium

My last post was on Helium and as promised this one would focus on how Helium is actually obtained. I was really surprised to find out that Helium is actually mined and not extracted directly from the air. The reason why it is mined is because it is found in far higher concentrations (than in the atmosphere) with in natural gas - natural gas can actually contain up to 7% Helium 1. The Helium is extracted (as I thought) - by fractional distillation of ...

Potassium Production

Interesting fact for the week: What is the (approximate) global production of Potassium metal per year? I was amazed to find this out but it is only 200 tonnes! Globally! Ask you students and see what they come up with. Why so little? Well, it is very hard to extract (more on this tomorrow)..... You can also let them know that world production of the ore is 50 million tonnes but the vast majority goes into making fertilizers (approx 95%) and the rest into Potassium ...

The second controlled chemical reaction – the answer is….

So, the second week of the year draws to a close. You and your students have been pondering the answer to 'what was the second controlled chemical reaction?' all week .... and the answer is ..... Extraction of Metals from ores (of course!) Control of this reaction to us from the Neolithic age and led to the Bronze age, Iron age and ultimately the Industrial age. The earliest recorded use of a reaction used to extract a metal (it was copper from copper carbonate) ...

Making Metals

We have probably all carried out the reduction of Copper Oxide using Carbon at some time, maybe to show the reactivity series or maybe to talk about redox. I was wondering though if this could be used as a quantitative IA lab, 'Calculate the % Yield of Copper Produced From The Reduction of Copper Oxide With Carbon? (To assess DCP and CEv maybe?)   If one knows the mass of Copper Oxide, one should be able to calculate the theoretical mass of ...