Beryllium

Chemical reactions




Reaction of beryllium with acids


Beryllium is passivated by oxygen, forming a BeO surface which is resistant to acid. On a fresh surface, without the protective layer, beryllium dissolves readily in dilute acids such as sulphuric acid, H2SO4, hydrochloric acid, HCl, and nitric acid, HNO3, forming Be(II) ions and hydrogen gas, H2.

Ba(s) + 2 H+(aq) Ba2+(aq) + H2(g)


Reaction of beryllium with air


Beryllium is passivated by oxygen, forming a BeO surface. Normally beryllium cannot be oxidized, even when heating to 600 °C, but powdered beryllium can be brought to burn in air, forming beryllium oxide, BeO and beryllium nitride, Be3N2.

2 Be(s) + O2(g) 2 BeO(s)
3 Be(s) + N2(g) Be3N2(s)


Reaction of beryllium with halogens


Beryllium metal reacts with chlorine, Cl2 and bromine, Br2, forming the corresponding beryllium(II)dihalides.

Be(s) + Cl2(g) BeCl2(s)
Be(s) + Br2(g) BeBr2(s)


Reaction of beryllium with air


Beryllium is passivated by oxygen, forming a BeO surface. Normally beryllium cannot be oxidized, even when heating to 600 °C, but powdered beryllium can be brought to burn in air, forming beryllium oxide, BeO and beryllium nitride, Be3N2.

2 Be(s) + O2(g) 2 BeO(s)
3 Be(s) + N2(g) Be3N2(s)


Reaction of beryllium with water


Beryllium does not react with water or steam, even if the metal is heated to red hot.


Quantitative analysis


Method 3500-Be C Inductively Coupled Plasma Method [1]. A portion of the sample is digested in a combination of acids. The digest is aspirated into an 8,000 K argon plasma where resulting light emission is quantified for 30 elements simultaneously.

Method limit of detection in water = 0.001 mg/L
Method limit of detection in soil = 0.10 mg/kg