Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Elements

The Universe consists roughly of 88% Hydrogen, 11% Helium and one percent for all the other elements. Here are some interesting facts about the elements, the most basic building-blocks of chemical structure. If you find sort of thing interesting, there's a good book, Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements, by John Emsley.

The Top ten elements in the Earth's Environment (ppm)

1. Oxygen (466,000)
2. Silicon (277,000)
3. Aluminum (82,000)
4. Iron (50,000)
5. Calcium (41,000)
6. Sodium (28,000)
7. Potassium (26,000)
8. Magnesium (21,000)
9. Titanium (4,400)
10. Hydrogen (1,400)

World Mining and Production of Important Elements (thousand tons)

1. Iron (1,000,000)
2. Aluminum (60,000)
3. Manganese (18,000)
4. Copper (12,000)
5. Zinc (11,000)
6. Lead (5,000)
7. Barium (5,000)
8. Titanium (4,300)
9. Chromium (3,750)
10. Fluorine (3,500)

Essential Elements for the Human Body (Fraction of total body mass)

1. Oxygen (61%)
2. Carbon (23%)
3. Hydrogen (10%)
4. Nitrogen (2.6%)
5. Calcium (1.4%)
6. Phosphorus (1.1%)
7. Sulfur (0.2%)
8. Potassium (0.2%)
9. Sodium (0.14%)
10. Chlorine (0.12%)

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