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Beryllium Hydroxide

Beryllium hydroxide, also known as hydrated beryllia and beryllium dihydroxide, is a metal hydroxide that has amphoteric properties (behaves both as an acid and base) and chemically represented by Be(OH)2 [1, 2]. The pure beryllium hydroxide occurs naturally as the rare, orthorhombic mineral behoite, and very rare monoclinic clinobehoite [3].

Beryllium Hydroxide Identification

CAS Number 13327-32-7 [1]
PubChem CID 518753 [1]
ChemSpider ID 24110 [4]
EC Number 236-368-6 [1]
UN Number 1566 [1]
RTECS Number DS3150000 [1]
InChI Key WPJWIROQQFWMMK-UHFFFAOYSA-L [1]

Beryllium Hydroxide

How is Beryllium Hydroxide Prepared

Pure beryllium hydroxide is synthesized as a by-product during the extraction of beryllium from mineral ore beryl (Be3Al2Si6O18) or bertrandite (Be4Si2H2O9) [5]. The ore is melted, solidified, crushed, and then treated with sulfuric acid to produce a water-soluble sulfate [5]. The sulfate undergoes several chemical extraction procedures so that all contaminants are removed and beryllium hydroxide is formed as a precipitate [5].

Reactions with Other Compounds

Beryllium Hydroxide and Sodium Hydroxide

When a concentrated solution of sodium hydroxide reacts with beryllium hydroxide, it dissolves to produce sodium tetrahydroxoberyllate [2, 6]:

Be(OH)2 + 2NaOH → Na2[Be(OH)4]

Beryllium Hydroxide and Hydrochloric Acid

It reacts with dilute hydrochloric acid to form beryllium chloride, as indicated by the following chemical equation [2]:

Be(OH)2 + 2HCl → BeCl2 + 2H2O

Properties and Characteristics of Beryllium Hydroxide

General Properties

Molar Mass/Molecular Weight 43.026 g/mol [1]

Physical Properties

Color and Appearance White, opaque crystalline powder [7]
Density 1.92 g cm-3 [7]
Melting Point 138 ° C, 280.4 °F (decomposes) [7]
Boiling Point N/A [7]
State of matter at room temperature Solid
Solubility Soluble in hot sodium hydroxide and acids, slightly soluble in dilute alkali [8]
Solubility in Water Almost insoluble in water (0.0000023965 g per L) [8]
Heat Capacity (C) 1.443 J K-1

Atomic Properties

Crystal Structure Linear with tetrahedral beryllium centers

Beryllium Hydroxide Structure

What Is It Used for

  • As a source in the manufacture of beryllium and its oxide [8].
  • In braking systems, engines, altimeters, and precision tools in the aerospace industry [9].
  • Producing anti-lock brake systems, steering wheel components, and air-bag sensors [9].
  • Manufacturing medical laser components, X-ray tube windows, and dental crowns [9].
  • Making nuclear reactor components, missile guidance systems, and heat shields in defense industry [9].

Is It Safe

Beryllium hydroxide is known to be carcinogenic and repeated exposure through contact, inhalation, or ingestion may cause organ toxicity [1]. It is also hazardous to aquatic life [1].

References:

  1. Beryllium Hydroxide – Pubchem.ncbi.nim.nih.gov
  2. Some Beryllium Chemistry Untypical Of Group 2 – Chemguide.co.uk
  3. Beryllium Dihydroxide (13327-32-7) – Chemchart.com
  4. Beryllium Hydroxide – Chemspider.com
  5. Sources of Beryllium – Berylium.com
  6. Beryllium Hydroxide React with Sodium Hydroxide – Chemiday.com
  7. Beryllium Hydroxide – Americanelements.com
  8. Beryllium Hydroxide – Chemicalbook.com
  9. Beryllium Hydroxide Market Analysis By Application (Aerospace, Automotive, Biomedical, Defence, Electrical and telecommunications), By Region (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America And Middle East & Africa), 2014 To 2025 – Grandviewresearch.com

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