The isolation of fluorine had challenged chemist for many years, taking the lives of at least two scientists in the process. Fluorine receives its name from the Latin, fluo, meaning flow. The first real attempt to free fluorine, was done by a chemist by the name of Humphyry Davy, between the years of (1811-1813). He first tried to liberate the element by using the chemical methods, but this failed. He then went on to try and electrolysis process using batteries. The problem with this was that the electrolytes used either produced Hydrogen and Oxygen or fluoric acid in vapor form, making it difficult to study. He then went on to fashion a electrochemical cell from horn silver because the hydrogen fluoride attacked glass. But this also failed , his hydrogen fluoride contained water. Davy gave up.
Next Louis-Joseph Gay-Lussac and Louis-Jacques
Thenard were able to create a liquid hydrogen fluoride free of water. But it doesn’t conducted the electricity needed for electrolysis. Thus ended their weak attempts to create fluorine. In 1834, Faraday (God of Electrolysis), used the electrolysis of lead fluoride in platinum vessels to yield fluoride vapors, HORAA! But no after rigorous examination he too failed. Then along came a student of Faraday, Henri Moissan, he used electrolysis with hydrogen fluoride and Fremy’s method , the result ,a yellow gas fluoride. Finally after the loss several scientists lives, not to mention the pain and suffering felt at the hands of chemists while strange chemicals ate through their vital organs.
All of this in the name of Science, and there quest to find new elements. That can accomplish many new wonderful things such as the separation of uranium. That we can use in Nuclear power plants to supply 3 percent of the world’s power and in nuclear weapons so powerful they can only be used for peace keeping. But Fluorine can also be used for other useful things like in pharmaceuticals, insecticides, and high energy fuels. Hey these fuels can be used to make dragsters faster or help in NASA’s quest.