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Mercury, Elemental, 100 grams #016-710
Mercury, Elemental, 100 grams
Chemical Name:
Chemical Formula:

Detailed Product Description:

Mercury (quicksilver), a fundamental chemical element, is a heavy, silvery

metal found in liquid form at standard temperature and pressure.  Compared

to other metals, it is a poor conductor of heat, but a fair conductor of electricity. 

Its density is 14.1 g/cm3.  Specific Gravity = 13.59.



This is Reagent Grade material with a minimum purity of 99.99%.



Mercury is a liquid at room temperature and standard air pressure.  It is this

property that is the source of its name “hydrargyrum,” meaning "watery

silver" in Greek, from which its symbol, Hg is derived.  


A d-block metal, mercury is one of six chemical elements that are liquid at

or near room temperature and pressure, the others being cesium, francium,

gallium, bromine, and rubidium.  Mercury is the only metal that is liquid at

standard conditions for temperature and pressure.  With a melting point of

−38.83 °C and boiling point of 356.73 °C, mercury has one of the widest

ranges of its liquid state of any metal.


Mercury occurs in deposits throughout the world mostly as cinnabar

(mercuric sulfide), which is the source of the red pigment vermilion, and

is mostly obtained by reduction from cinnabar.   


Mercury is used in thermometers, barometers, manometers, sphygmomanometers,

float valves, and other scientific apparatus, though concerns about the element's

toxicity have led to mercury thermometers and sphygmomanometers being largely

phased out in clinical environments in favor of alcohol-filled, digital, or thermistor-

based instruments.  It remains in use in a number of other ways in scientific and

scientific research applications, and in amalgam material for dental restoration.  It is

used in lighting; electricity passed through mercury vapor in a phosphor tube produces

short-wave ultraviolet light which then causes the phosphor to fluoresce, making

visible light.



Mercury dissolves to form amalgams with gold, silver, zinc and many other metals.  

Because iron is an exception, iron flasks have been traditionally used to trade mercury.  

Other metals that do not form amalgams with mercury include tantalum, tungsten

and platinum.  When heated, mercury also reacts with oxygen in air to form mercury

oxide, which then can be decomposed by further heating to higher temperatures.


Since it is below hydrogen in the reactivity series of metals, mercury does not

react with most acids, such as dilute sulfuric acid, though oxidizing acids such

as concentrated sulfuric acid and nitric acid or aqua regia dissolve it to give

sulfate, nitrate, and chloride salts.  Like silver, mercury reacts with atmospheric

hydrogen sulfide.  Mercury even reacts with solid sulfur flakes, which are used

in mercury spill kits to absorb mercury vapors (spill kits also use activated

charcoal and powdered zinc).

Mercury readily combines with aluminum to form a mercury-aluminum amalgam

when the two pure metals come into contact.  However, when the amalgam is

exposed to air, the aluminum oxidizes, leaving mercury behind.  The oxide flakes

away, exposing more mercury amalgam, which repeats the process.  This process

continues until the supply of amalgam is exhausted.  Because this process releases

mercury, a small amount of mercury can "eat through" a large amount of aluminum

over time, by progressively forming amalgam and relinquishing the aluminum as oxide.


Aluminum in air is ordinarily protected by a molecule-thin layer of its own oxide,

which is not porous to oxygen.  Mercury coming into contact with this oxide does

no harm.  However, if any elemental aluminum is exposed (even by a recent scratch),

the mercury may combine with it, starting the process described above, and potentially

damaging a large part of the aluminium before it finally ends.  For this reason,

restrictions are placed on the use and handling of mercury in proximity with

aluminum.  In particular, mercury is not allowed aboard aircraft under most

circumstances because of the risk of it forming an amalgam with exposed aluminum

parts in the aircraft.


Historically, mercury was used extensively in hydraulic gold mining in order to

help the gold to sink through the flowing water-gravel mixture.  Thin mercury

particles may form mercury-gold amalgam and therefore increase the gold recovery



Mercury's atomic structure makes it an effective solvent of most metals.  This,

combined with its low boiling point, make it useful for extracting gold from ore

in a process of amalgamation and distillation.


Gold dissolves in mercury in a way similar to the way salt dissolves in water.

Thus, miners could submerge their ore in mercury which would take on the gold

as an amalgam.  This mercury amalgam could then be recollected and heated until

the mercury boiled away.  A simple still like those used in alcohol production would

draw away the vaporized mercury, possibly collecting it for reuse, with relatively

pure gold remaining behind.  Though the gold would have to be refined later for even

greater purity and minting, the amalgamation with mercury allowed the efficient

extraction of gold from low-yield ores that were not economical by other means.



Highly toxic by skin absorption or inhalation of fumes or vapors.

Spills can be cleaned up with sulfur.

Download, read, and understand precautions before using this substance. 


Click here to download MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet)



Contents of 100 grams comes packed in amber glass bottle.

Call For Pricing: (650) 273-2113
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