Why Fluorine is the most reactive nonmetal?

Fluorine is the most reactive nonmetal because it has the highest value of electronegativity. Reactivity of nonmetals is directly proportional to electronegativity. Having the electronegativity of 4, it has the highest ability to attract the shared pair of electron towards itself. As its ability to attract the shared pair of electron towards itself is more than any other element, fluorine is said to be the most reactive nonmetal in the periodic table.

This was a short and straight answer. If you want to get into some depth of this topic then this article is for you.

most reactive nonmetal fluorine

What is reactivity?

Let’s keep things simple. Reactivity is the ability of an element to react and form a bond with another element. The more reactive elements react easily without requiring high amount of energy. On the other hand, less reactive elements don’t react readily with other elements. They require some energy to form bond.

Basis of reactivity:

Just like any other property, reactivity also depends on another property. The basis of reactivity is different for metals and non metals. Since metals lose electrons, their reactivity depends on their electropositivity (ability to lose electrons). It has a direct relation with electropositivity.

But we know that nonmetals do not lose electrons they accept it. So we cannot measure their reactivity on the basis of electropositivity because their behavior is completely different from metals. It’s just like comparing the ability of a bird to fly with a fish. So we have another term for nonmetals and that is “electronegativity”.

A short intro to electronegativity:

The ability of an element to attract the shared pair of electron towards itself is known as electronegativity. It’s just an ability so it doesn’t have any unit. It’s minimum value is 0.7 assigned to Cesium metal. Maximum value is 4 assigned to fluorine. All the other elements lie between this scale and it is known as Pauling’s scale of electronegativity.

Relation of electronegativity with reactivity:

It also has a direct relation. The more electronegative nonmetals will be more reactive. Likewise less electronegative nonmetals will show less reactivity. But, why? Let’s understand it better. Reactivity is ability of bond formation. For nonmetals bond is formed when they accept electrons from other elements. If their ability to attract the shared pair of electron is less, how will they accept electrons? So for bond formation nonmetals have to accept electrons and to accept electrons they need to attract them so they require high electronegativity to be reactive.

Periodic trend of electronegativity and reactivity:

If you move upward to downward in any group of periodic table you will see that electronegativity decrease down the group. While moving left to right in any period you will notice that electronegativity of elements is gradually increasing. Let’s now see the trend of reactivity for nonmetals. As we have discussed the reactivity has a direct relation with electronegativity. So the above trend is same for reactivity of nonmetals. Left to right it increases and top to bottom it decreases.

Where most reactive nonmetals are found in periodic table?

If we look to the trend of reactivity it tells us that the most reactive group of nonmetals will be VII A (VIII A is non reactive). As it comes in the end and according to group trend the most reactive element from VII A should be the top member. The first element of VII A is Fluorine (as it is the most electronegative element of periodic table).

Reaction of Fluorine with Xenon:

Xenon (Xe) belongs to VIII A group of periodic table. VIII A elements are considered to be non reactive as they have 8 electrons in their outermost shell. They follow the octet rule and are stable without forming bond with any element. However as there are many exceptions in periodic table, we also have one here. Xenon forms bond with Fluorine atom. Yes, you heard it right Xenon reacts with Fluorine. The process of bond formation is very complicated. I didn’t discuss this to explain the process but to tell you about the reactivity of Fluorine. No other element of periodic table reacts with VIII A elements. Only fluorine has the ability to react with Xenon.

3 types of fluorides are formed on reaction with xenon.

Xenon difluoride:

Xe + F2 → XeF2

Xenon tetrafluoride:

Xe + 2F2 → XeF4

Xenon hexafluoride:

Xe + 3F2 → XeF6

Conclusion:

  1. Reactivity is the ability of any element to form a bond with another element.

  2. It depends upon electronegativity for nonmetals while for metals it depends on electropositivity.

  3. Electronegativity is the ability of an element to attract the shared pair of electron towards itself.

  4. Reactivity is directly proportional to the electronegativity of nonmetals.

  5. In periodic table electronegativity and reactivity both increase left to right in a period and decrease from top to bottom in group.

  6. VII A group is the most electronegative and reactive group of periodic table.

  7. Fluorine is the most reactive nonmetal because it is the most electronegative nonmetal in the periodic table.

  8. It’s electronegativity is 4 (highest) on Pauling’s scale.

  9. Fluorine is the only element that reacts with Xenon of VIII A group, due to its high electronegativity value.

Read Also:
What Is The Periodic Table: Families and Periods
The Periodic Table: Metals, Nonmetals, and Metalloids
What are the properties of nonmetals?

WHY FLUORINE IS MOST REACTIVE NON-METAL

Fluorine is a chemical substance that is indicated by a sign F. Its atomic number is 9. It is the most lightweight element of non-metals. Fluorine is the 13thmost conventional element on earth. It is the element of the halogen group which is the 17th group in the periodic table. Under quality circumstances, this element is yellow in color and a diatomic gas. Fluorine has specific fragrances other than chlorine, bromine, and iodine. Because of its high electronegativity,, it can be bonded with any other element. These specific properties not only make fluorine exceptional but the molecules which contain fluorine, their reactivity, and properties also changed.

In Environment

In the environment, fluorine is commonly present in reduced form as Flouride F- in the form of compounds like fluorspar CaF2, fluorapatite Ca5 (PO4)3, cryolite (Na3AlF6). The fluorapatite serves as a hard element in the teeth of humans. The principle fluorine is prepared by the method of electrolysis i.e. HF is broken into its components which are hydrogen and fluorine. This experiment was given by Henri Mossian in 1886 and he had also been awarded a Nobel prize because of this discovery. In 2000, the yearly production of fluorine was approximately 20,000t. The important petition of fluorine is just to produce UF6 Uranium Hexafluoride which is used for the production of U-235 as nuclear fuel. One more large amount production of fluorine is Sulphur hexafluoride SF6.

Globally,

Globally the desire for this is approximately 10,000 per year. It is mainly used as a protector gas that protects them from large voltage circuit breakers as they have a large amount of dielectric strength. The large usage compound of fluorine is hydrogen fluoride as it gives the production of 1*10^6t per year. A specific property of hydrogen fluoride is its reactivity towards the glass, as glass is only reactive towards hydrogen fluoride and not to any other element. This characteristic also makes HF an impression agent for glass.

A specific thing that made fluorine most reactive is its tendency to attract shared pair of electrons i.e. electronegativity. The reactivity of fluorine is also due to its smaller size as fluorine is smaller than chlorine, bromine, iodine. It is most of the reactive non-metal of halogen, as they never come in sight in its free form; it reacts with all other elements except argon, Helium, and neon. But they make a firm compound with krypton, xenon, and argon, etc.
When we are discussing reactivity these three things must be overlooked.

Atomic radius

Shielding effect

No of electrons

1. No of electrons

The reactivity depends upon the ability to gain no. of electrons so the electrons that are present in an element also play an important role. In chlorine, there is more electron that repels the upcoming electrons making fluorine more accessible for electrons that makes it reactive.

2.Shielding effect

In fluorine, there are fewer shells of an electron than chlorine, bromine, and iodine. So there are fewer electrons in the positive nucleus for blocking and are weak. This is a shielding effect.

3. Atomic radius

Fluorine is much smaller than chlorine, bromine, and iodine. And the distance is less, or radius, in the nucleus and electrons that make the electron attracted towards the nucleus and to have a suitable configuration.

Summary
Fluorine is the most reactive non-metal because of its small size, high electronegativity, shielding effect. Fluorine is much smaller than chlorine, bromine, and iodine. And the distance is less, or radius, in the nucleus and electrons that make the electron attracted towards the nucleus and to have a suitable configuration.

FAQ’s

1.Which is more reactive among chlorine and fluorine?

Fluorine is more reactive because of its high electronegativity and small size.

2. what is that specific thing that made flourine more reactive?

A specific thing that made fluorine most reactive is its tendency to attract shared pair of electrons i.e. electronegativity. The reactivity of fluorine is also due to its smaller size as fluorine is smaller than chlorine, bromine, iodine. It is most of the reactive non-metal of halogen, as they never come in sight in its free form; it reacts with all other elements except argon, Helium, and neon. But they make a firm compound with krypton, xenon, and argon, etc.
When we are discussing reactivity these three things must be overlooked.

3.What is the role of the shielding effect in flourine reactivity?

In fluorine, there are fewer shells of an electron than chlorine, bromine, and iodine. So there are fewer electrons in the positive nucleus for blocking and are weak. This is a shielding effect.

4. Globally, how much amount of flourine is made?

Globally the desire for this is approximately 10,000 per year. It is mainly used as a protector gas that protects them from large voltage circuit breakers as they have a large amount of dielectric strength. The large usage compound of fluorine is hydrogen fluoride as it gives the production of 1*10^6t per year. A specific property of hydrogen fluoride is its reactivity towards the glass, as glass is only reactive towards hydrogen fluoride and not to any other element. This characteristic also makes HF an impression agent for glass.

5. flourine is present in what form in the environment?

fluorine is commonly present in reduced form as Flouride F- in the form of compounds like fluorspar CaF2, fluorapatite Ca5 (PO4)3, cryolite (Na3AlF6). The fluorapatite serves as a hard element in the teeth of humans. The principle fluorine is prepared by the method of electrolysis i.e. HF is broken into its components which are hydrogen and fluorine.

Yes , fluorine is the highly reactive element among other halogens. Fluorine the lightest element exist under standard conditions like as highly toxic, pale yellow diatomic gas. As the most electronegative element, it is extremely reactive, as it reacts with all other elements, except for argon, neon, and helium Atomic number of fluorine is 9 ,atomic mass is 18.998403 and electronic configuration of fluorine is 1s2,2s2,2p5.

Peculiar behavior of fluorine

The halogens from a homologous series but fluorine differs from the other halogens

In many respects which is due to :

  • Small size of F atom and of F- ion
  • High first ionization energy and electronegativity
  • Low dissociation energy of F2 molecule as compared to Cl2 and Br2.
  • Restriction of the valence shell to an octet
  • Direct combination with inert gases.

Due to the small size of the F atom there will be a better overlap of orbitals and consequently leads to shorter and stronger bonds with elements other than O,N and itself. Ionic fluorides have higher lattice energies than the other halides and these values are responsible for the insolubility of the fluorides of Ca,Mg,Ba.Sr and lanthanides in water.

Due to the low dissociation energy of fluorine molecule ,it is highly reactive.The other halogens react slowly under similar conditions. The fluorides are, however, more stable with respect to dissociation into elements.

Due to the restriction of valence shell to an octet, many fluoro compounds show inertness, e.g.CF4 and SF6. Also due to this restrictions, fluorine remains restricted to -1 oxidation state.

Fluorine is the only element that combines directly with noble gases like kr, Xe and Rn forming their fluorides

Electronegativity

The ability of an atom to attract the shared pair of electrons towards itself in a molecule, known as electronegativity. It is an important property especially when covalent type of bonding of elements is under consideration.

Trend for electronegativity is same as of ionization energy and electron affinity.It increase in a period from left to right because higher Z effects shortens distance from the nucleus of the shared paired of electrons. This enhances the power to attract the shared pair of electrons.

It generally decreases down a group because size of the atom increases. Thus attraction for the shared pair of electrons weakens.

Uses of fluorine on daily basis

Fluorine is that the most electronegative element, i.e. bonded to the other element it’ll withdraw electron density towards its own core. This distinctive property has not only created F the anchor purpose of the wide known Pauling tendency scale, it also considerably changes reactivity and properties of F containing molecules and materials compared to wide used non-fluorinated ones.

Use in toothpaste

Due to its high reactivity, F virtually never seems in its free form, F2. In nature, F is typically found within the reduced type as halide (F−) in compounds like fluorite (CaF2), cryolite (Na3AlF6) or apatite (Ca5(PO4)3F) to only mention a couple of. The latter is made as a tough part of human teeth. To introduce that fluoride in teeth, toothpaste usually contains halide additives like amine fluorides.

Use as a fuel and gas

The annual F2 production in 2000 was roughly calculable at around 20’000 t. displays a chart providing an outline of the foremost necessary applications for elemental F. the most application of neat F remains the assembly of U hexafluoride that is employed for the enrichment of 235U as fuel. Another large-scale application of F is that the production of sulfur hexafluoride (SF6). The worldwide demand for this gas is calculable at 10’000 t annually

Use as nonconductor gas

It’s in the main used as an nonconductor gas in high-voltage circuit breakers thanks to its high stuff strength, low toxicity and low reactivity

Greenhouse emission

Nevertheless, in 1997 the usage of SF6 was regulated within the Kyoto protocol thanks to its high environmental impact. In fact, SF6 is that the up to now most potent greenhouse emission, 23’900 times stronger than greenhouse emission (CO2). Different materials are rare and so still subject of current analysis. Once respiratory SF6 the voice is considerably concentrated, the alternative result to the “helium voice”. On the far side that, mixtures of neat F with chemical element are often used in the automobile business for fluorination of fuel tanks – such a fluorinated surface prevents the permeability of fuels

Use with HF compound

The simplest and wide used fluorine-containing compound is fluoride (HF) with a production of 1*106 t annually. A novel property of fluoride is its reactivity towards glass that isn’t reactive to virtually the other chemical. This property conjointly renders HF helpful as associate etching agent for glass.

Organic and Inorganic material

So far, organic and inorganic materials with comparatively high F content were mentioned here. However low fluorinated compounds conjointly play a vital role, particularly in pharmaceutical and agricultural chemistry. In 2014 regarding twenty five you look after all medication contained a minimum of one F atom. As an example, the foremost wide used drug within the medical care of carcinoma (ICI 182,780, Figure 2) contains a partly fluorinated chemical group tail. In fact, it’s stronger than the non-fluorinated spinoff.

Use in pharmaceutical

It’s shocking that the introduction of F atoms in pharmaceutically active compounds is helpful as a result of the overwhelming majority of medicine are derivatives of natural product or are galvanized naturally. It had been not till 1943 that the primary fluorine-containing natural product was discovered, i.e. Na mono fluoroacetate, a mono fluorinated, toxic spinoff of ethanoic acid. In 2014 nearly twenty five you look after all agrochemical product used contained one or additional F atoms. Thus, fluorinated product build a vital contribution to global food security.

FAQ

Is fluorine highly reactive or nonreactive?

Fluorine is highly reactive element .It reacts with inert gases. It is highly toxic and diatomic gas .

Why is fluorine more reactive than oxygen?

Fluorine is more reactive than water because it is electronegative element and it decreases from left of the periodic table .As oxygen is second most reactive on the periodic table.

Why is iodine least reactive element ?

Iodine tends to loose electrons and gain postive charge during reaction.
That’s why iodine is least reactive .

Why potassium is more reactive element?

Potassium is bigger than sodium and lithium so outer most electron is further away from the nucleus.
Also k has less ionization energy that’s why is more reactive than other metals.