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Uses of Mercury

Uses Of Mercury

Uses Of Mercury Mercury is the chemical element that is part of the periodic table, its atomic number is 80 and it is represented by the symbol Hg. In ancient literature it was called hydrargyrum, quicksilver and liquid silver.

This element is characterized by its silvery hue, being a heavy metal and part of block D of the periodic table. It is the only liquid and metallic element both under standard laboratory conditions. There is another element which is also liquid under the same conditions, but it is a non-metal, it is bromine. Other metals such as gallium, cesium and rubidium can be smelted at slightly higher temperatures.

Uses of mercury

  • Uses Of Mercury Mercury is mainly used for Electron and electrical applications and to manufacture industrial chemicals.
  • It is also used in some thermometers, basically those used to measure high temperatures.
  • Mercury gas applications for fluorescent lamps have increased over time, while many other applications have slowly gone out of use due to health and safety regulations.
  • Mercury has been replaced in various applications by less toxic but at the same time much more expensive materials. An example of this is the Galinstan alloy.

Mercury is found in deposits around the world, primarily as mercuric sulfide in cinnabar. The red pigment known as vermilion can be obtained by grinding mercury sulphide or natural cinnabar, which in turn is obtained synthetically.

The element mercury can be used or applied in barometers, thermometers, sphygmomanometers, pressure gauges, mercury switches, some types of valves such as vacuum pumps, fluorescent lamps, and other devices.

It is also important to point out that after the use of mercury, there is concern about the danger and toxicity it produces. This has resulted in the large scale elimination in clinical settings of mercury thermometers and sphygmomanometers to be replaced by other alternatives such as glass thermometers which use galinstane or alcohol to operate. Also, replacing those previously mentioned which produce toxicity, Electron instruments or thermistors are used which are based on the measurement of infrared radiation.

Other applications of mercury are:

  • As a pressure gauge in the mercury column.
  • Thermometer: Since April 3, 2009, the marketing of new mercury-based laboratory thermometers is prohibited in the European Union. With the exception of materials and measuring instruments for medical or scientific use as well as used and old equipment.
  • Mercury toggle switch and old mercury switch: Since 2005, the use of mercury in switches has been banned in the European Union. In cases of special applications, mercury can always be used. Currently, mercury switches can be found in boiler thermostats, in stairwell timers, in turbo inverters, in pressure switches for household water pumps, and in the Rumpelsicherung washing machine.
  • In high vacuum oil-free generation diffusion pumps.
  • In old electron tubes.
  • Special lamps such as low consumption lamps, high pressure mercury vapor lamps, cold cathode tubes, solar lamps, black light lamps, etc.

Electron configuration of Mercury

The Electron configuration of an element is defined as the determination of the levels that are occupied, as well as the occupation number mentioned above for an element or for a specific ion. There is a long or complete Electron configuration, in the case of mercury it is the following 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s2 3d10 4p6 5s2 4d10 5p6 6s2 4f14 5d10.

The atomic number belonging to mercury is 80, it means that the element has 80 electrons in total. To develop the abbreviated or simplified electron configuration, which is smaller than the full electron configuration, the most important part is the distribution of electrons found in the valence shell.

According to this, only the last placed layer is worked. Considering all these details, the noble gases are known to possess this complete envelope. For this reason, when the electron configuration of the noble gas that precedes the element is used, in this case mercury, only the electrons that are part of the last shell need to be located. The rare gas corresponding to this element is xenon. At the end, the abbreviated Electron configuration of mercury is obtained and is written as follows [Xe] 6s² 4f¹⁴ 5d¹⁰.

Electron Configuration (April 29, 2022) Uses of Mercury. Retrieved from
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Electron Configuration - Uses of Mercury. [Internet]. [Accessed April 29, 2022]. Available from:
"Uses of Mercury." Electron Configuration - Accessed April 29, 2022.
"Uses of Mercury." Electron Configuration [Online]. Available: [Accessed: April 29, 2022]
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