Uranium is widespread in nature. Clark of uranium is 0.0003% (wt.), the concentration in seawater is 3 μg / l. The amount of uranium in the 20 km thick layer of the lithosphere is estimated at 1.3 × 1014 tonnes. (Where is Uranium found ) The majority of uranium is found in acidic rocks with high silicon content. A significant mass of uranium is concentrated in sedimentary rocks, especially those rich in organic matter.
Uranium is present in large quantities as an impurity. The most important uranium ores are pitchblende (uranium pitch), uranium and carnotite. The main minerals – partners of uranium are molybdenite MoS2, galena PbS, quartz SiO2, calcite CaCO3, hydro muscovite, etc.
Uranium atomic number
- Atomic Number :- 92
- Electrons per shell :- 2,8,18,32,21,9,2
- Atomic mass :- 238.02891 U
- Symbol :- U
Discovery of Uranium
The element uranium was discovered in 1789 by Klaproth from an ore called pitchblende. He named the new element uranium after the planet Uranus, known a few years earlier. 52 years after this discovery, Peligat demonstrated in 1841 that the material discovered by Klaprot prepared uranium metal from the reduction of uranium tetrachloride by potassium (K).
In 1896, Henri Becquerel discovered radioactivity in uranium. His research revealed that this property is present in all the compounds of uranium and also in some other ores. It was as a result of these observations that the historic discovery of radium from pitchblende ore became possible.
Is Uranium a metal
Uranium is a shiny white metal. Its sign is U, atomic number 92, atomic weight 238.03, melting point 1,130°C, boiling point estimated at 3,500°C, density 19.05 grams per cubic cm, electrical resistivity 32.76×109 ohm cm and crystal structure at three sides, at room temperature.
Where is Uranium found
Uranium is spread over the entire upper surface of the Earth. It is estimated that the amount of uranium in the earth’s crust is about 1014 tonnes. Thus its quantity will be 4×10-6 in about 1 gram of shell. Its amount is high in acidic rocks (e.g. granite) and less in alkaline rocks (e.g. basalt). Uranium is also present in sea water, although its amount in sea water is 1/2000th of the amount present in the rock.
Despite its extensive spread, only two main ores of it are known, one pitchblende and the other carnotite. Pitchblende is a dark blue-black ore, which contains uranium oxide, (U3 O3). Carnotite is mainly known as the Jabli vanadate of potassium and uranium, (K2 U2 V2O12, 3H2O). The main deposits of pitchblende ore are in Congo, Africa and Canada. Apart from these, this ore is also found in Czechoslovakia, Australia, America, East Africa, England. Carnotite is found in America and Australia.
What is Uranium used for
Uranium-235, which occurs in very small amounts in natural uranium, is the most commonly used radioactive isotope in the field of nuclear power generation. It is also the main component of the first atomic bomb used during the war, Little Boy, which was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. The military uses uranium in one form, uranium-235, for its penetrating power and burning properties.
- Uranium-238 is used in the production of plutonium-239.
- Depleted Uranium is used to make armor for tanks.
- Uranium is used to make atomic bombs.
- Uranium can also be used to make missiles, small shells and bullets.
- Uranium-235 is used as fuel in nuclear plants, in nuclear plants, uranium is used to heat water to make steam, then that steam is used to generate electricity.
- The isotope of uranium uranium-238 is used for age testing of igneous rocks and for other radiometric dating.
- In ancient times, uranium compounds were used to make colored glass.
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