Todescribe an Element in the Alkali Earth metal family of the PeriodicTableCourse Code
Todescribe an Element in the Alkali Earth metal family of the PeriodicTable
Thissection describes the properties of calcium as an alkali earth metal.Focus is on the physical composition of the element. Calcium, mostlydenoted with the symbol Ca, is an alkaline earth metal and known tobe the fifth most abundant element on the earth’s surface by mass.The element has atomic number 20 and mass number of 40.078 amu. Theelement has 20 protons and 20 neutrons and 20 electrons(Westerhausen, 1991).
Derivedfrom the latin word calcis, the element means lime. Sir Humphry Davydiscovered the element in 1808 in England. This element was preparedas lime by the Romans who back then knew it as calyx though it wasthen discovered in 1808. Interestingly, the element is not found freein nature. In the past, the lime, also known as Calcium Oxide was asignificant material that was derived upon heating of limestone andfor a long time was used to make plaster and mortar (Westerhausen,1991). It is classified as earth given that it is nearly difficult toreduce it further, a test that was done by Antione Lavoiser.
Thissection elaborates on the chemical properties of the element. Theelement has a melting point of1115 K (842°C or 1548°F) and boilingpoint of 1757 K (1484°C or 2703°F). The density of the element isat 1.54 grams per cubic centimeter. At room temperature, the phase ofthis element is solid. The most common ionic charge is Ca2+.
Thissection describes the appearance of the element and includes thevarious physical properties of the element. Calcium is silvery grayin color (Westerhausen, 1991). The element in Mohs scale has a 1.5degree of hardness. The element mainly exists in compound form andknown to be mostly extracted from calcium carbonate and calcium oxidecompounds. These forms where the compounds are found are solid forms.Purification of the element is done through the brine purificationwhere the salt water is purified and water evaporated hence leavingthe calcium salts.
Calciumsalts areprecipitated by the addition of sodium carbonate. Ca2+(aq)  +    CO32–(aq)     CaCO3(s)
Currentlythe element is used in a number of ways and mainly in its differentcompound forms. Calcium is used to manufacture other metals likeuranium. Additionally, Calcium is used in the removal process ofoxygen, sulphur and carbon from different alloys. In the past calciumin its compound nature, calcium oxide was used to make plaster andmortar (Westerhausen, 1991).
Thiselement has a number of economic benefits as it forms a larger partof Portland cement that are ideal in the construction industry.Additionally, the element is useful in building strong bones henceensuring that individuals have the capacity to be productive in thesociety.
Westerhausen,M. (1991). Synthesis and spectroscopic properties of bis(trimethylsilyl) amides of the alkaline-earth metals magnesium,calcium, strontium, and barium. Inorganicchemistry, 30(1),96-101.