Alkaline Earth Metals are Calcium, Barium, Unbinilium, Magnesium, Beryllium, Strontium and Radium and are six chemical elements that are in group 2 of the periodic table. These are substances that are nonmetallic, insoluble in water and unchanged by fire. All of them have an oxidation number of +2. Therefore, they are very reactive and because of this, these metals are not found free in nature.
The earth’s crust is 3.64% Calcium. As an answer, it is the third most abundant metal in it. Therefore, it is found all over the world and its distribution is very wide. It is essential for the life of plants and animals, as it is present in the animal’s skeleton, in the egg’s shell, in tooth, in the coral and in most of soils.
Some of its main and essential properties are that:
it is trimorphic (can change form easily)
It is the least chemically reactive alkaline earth metal
The valence electrons (the electrons involved in the ionisation of an element): 4s^2
Calcium is a silvery-white, soft metal that tarnishes rapidly in air and reacts with water. Secondly, it is an excellent conductor.
Moreover, it is used as a reducing agent in preparing other metals such as thorium and uranium. It is also used as an alloying agent for aluminium, beryllium, copper, lead and magnesium alloys. Furthermore, it is used in aluminium alloys for bearings and as a deoxidiser in the manufacture of many steels. Most importantly, it is included in the making of cements and mortars used for buildings.
(A deoxidizer is a compound used in a reaction to remove oxygen)
Barium is a soft, silvery metal that rapidly tarnishes in air and reacts with water. However, it is not used a lot. Most is used in drilling fluids for oil and gas wells. It is also used in paint and glassmaking. Thirdly, doctors to perform medical tests and to take x-rays of gastrointestinal tracts. With and atomic number of 56, symbol BA, its atomic weight is 138.
Finally, its valence electrons is 6s^2.
Unbinilium has a symbol of Ubn and atomic number of 120.
Magnesium has an atomic number of 12 and is a silvery-white metal that ignites easily in air and burns with a bright lights. Furthermore, the valence of electrons is 3s^2.
Magnesium is used in products that benefit from being lightweight, such as car seats, luggage, laptops, cameras and power tools. It is also added to molten iron and steel to remove sulfur.
Beryllium is used as an alloying agent in the production of beryllium-copper. Thanks to their electrical and thermal conductivity, high strenght and hardness, non magnetic properties, good resistance, dimensional stability over a large temperature range beryllium-copper alloys are used in many requisitions. For example, in electronics, rocket parts, computer components, sporting goods.
Secondly, it has an atomic number of 4 and 2 valence electrons.
Strontium has nearly the same uses of calcium and barium, but it is rarely utilised because of its higher costs.A soft, silvery metal that burns in air and reacts to water, has an atomic number of 38 and 5 valence electrons. Furthermore, it is best known for the sparkling reds its salts give to fireworks and flares. It is also used in the production of ferrite magnets and refining zinc. An interesting fact is that China is now the leader in the production of strontium and that the metal is found mainly in the minerals Celestine and strontianite.
Finally, Radium. Radium has an atomic number of 88 and 7 valence electrons. It is soft, shiny and silvery. Unfortunately, it has fewer applications that the other earth alkaline metals, because it is radioactive. A fact that shocked me a lot, is that annually, its production, is less than 100 grams per year! This is why, currently, it has no commercial uses, other than its use in nuclear medicine.
In conclusion, all of them have their distinctive an unique properties. For example, radium is radioactive, as I said first. Or magnesium and calcium, that a re the lighter elements and are also very important in plants physiology. Or that calcium helps build your bones ad magnesium, cn be found in chlorophyll molecules. But what they have in common is that they all have 2 electrons their outer shell and 4 of them – magnesium, calcium, strontium and barium – were either identified or isolated in the first decade of the 19th century by English chemist Humphry Davy. Another unique thing that these posses, is that they rarely appear by themselves in nature, but are found with other elements, usually in compound form.
Well, I hope you’ve learnt something more on alkaline art metals and that you’ve enjoyed my presentation. Thanks.