Astatine (At)

We have probably all mentioned Astatine in our teaching at some point - probably in relation to the trends and patternss of group 7 elements. You know the usual patter - melting points increase as you go down the group, the colour gets darker and so on. One of my students asked me what colour it actually was - we looked but could not find any photos of it. The students curiosity came from not an iB question but an ...

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 ...