Germanium is a chemical element which is represented by the symbol Ge and whose atomic number is 32. It is silvery gray in color, metallic in appearance, but its physical and chemical properties are those of a metal only under conditions particular, it is because in The periodic table is located where the transition from metals to non-metals occurs. It is a fragile material.
Its abundance in the earth’s crust is 6.7 parts per million. It is possible to find it in minerals like lead, copper, zinc.
It is very useful, despite the fact that in some cases its use is limited by its high cost. Its atomic weight is 72.59, its boiling point is 2830 degrees Celsius and its melting point is 937.4 degrees Celsius.
It is a tetravalent or divalent element. Divalent compounds, which are halogens, sulfides, and oxides, tend to be easily reduced or oxidized. In mammals, this metal and its derivatives show a lower level of oxidation than lead and tin compounds. The Electron configuration of germanium is: Z 32 1s2 2s2 2p6 s2 3p6 4s2 3d10 4p2.
Uses of Germanium
- As this element has semiconductor characteristics, it is used together with silicon to make Electron devices.
- It is used in combination with silicon in high speed integrated circuits and thus higher performance is achieved.
- It is also used to make LED diodes and fluorescent lamps.
- By combining it with oxygen, it can be made into microscope and camera lenses and solar panels.
- In addition, it is used for the detection of radiation sources at airports.
- Due to its properties, it has important uses in the semiconductor industry.
- The transmitter, which is the first solid-state device, was created on the basis of this element.
- It is also used for filters and lenses of devices that serve the infrared region of infrared detectors.
history of germanium
As the story goes, the properties of this element were predicted by Russian chemist Dmitry Mendeleev in 1871. He named it eka-silicon because of its position in the periodic table of elements.
Later, in the year 1886, the German Clemens Winkler demonstrated that it existed, which made possible the validity of the table due to the observed properties and the predicted one. The name was given in honor of the native country of its discoverer, Winkler, Germania.
foods containing germanium
It has been shown to have a high power to increase cell oxygenation. It can purify and detoxify the body. It serves to prevent the formation of tumors and the appearance of viral infections. It is recommended to use it in degenerative diseases, for bronchitis, stress and rheumatic processes.
Some of the germanium-rich elements are:
- Sugar beet, radish, alfalfa; in cereals such as oats, wheat, rice, buckwheat and rye.
- In dandelions, garlic, kelp, ginseng, bamboo shoots.
Recommended dose to consume daily
Experts recommend a daily intake of 100 milligrams of germanium. If necessary, the dose can be increased gradually, not suddenly, until a dose of 1000 (one thousand) milligrams per day is reached. It is excreted from the body through urine, after 20 or 30 hours after ingesting it.
germanium health effects
- In its germanium hydride and tetrahydride form, it has a very high level of ignition, being capable of causing explosions when mixed with air.
- If germanium is inhaled, it can cause abdominal cramps. Gas has a greater weight than air and the ability to pass through the ground. Their ignition is possible over long distances.
- It also produces the burning sensation. Short-term exposure may, in contact with eyes and skin, cause pain and irritation and therefore redness. In addition, it causes coughing.
- May damage blood cells. Exposure can even lead to death.
- In cancer patients, it may help the immune system, although this has not been proven, but there are signs of it.
Effects of germanium on the environment
Germanium is found in the environment as a contaminant of various materials and cadmium residues from zinc processing. Its compounds are capable of generating toxicity in mammals and have a high lethality rate in certain bacteria. It has also been considered a metal that can have negative effects on aquatic ecosystems.