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Chemical Elements

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What is it used for? Scientific research.Where can it be found?Occurs in the Earth's crust found in a small handful of parts per trillion. It's natural, rare and expensive, and can be extracted from used nuclear fuel.How much does it cost? 125 grams of 99.9% protactinium found from 1959-61 was extracted from 60 tons of waste and cost $500,000.How would the world be different without it? Probably no different as it is only used in scientific research but it might affect the understanding of our world.

Physical Properties

Atom Structure

Atomic mass - 231.04Melting Point - 2,862 F (1,572 C)Boiling Point - 7,232 F (4,000 C)Density - 15.37 grams per cubic centimeterPhysical Appearance - A metal, is silver and grey with a metallic luster for a very short time in the air.Isotopes - 29 radioisotopes, it's half-life lasts 32,700 years and is an alpha emitter formed by the decay of 235U. Usually, all naturally occurring protactinium is 231^Pa. Uranium decays yield protactinium isotopes.

Chemical Properties

Reactivity - Highly reactive when exposed to oxygen, inorganic acids and water vapor. It has a high radioactivity and toxicity, making it cancerous.Common Reactions - Pa with air, Pa with water, Pa with halogens, Pa with acids, Pa with bases.Equations - 231Pa --> 227Ac +24He, 2Pa + O2 --> 2PaO, Pa + H2O --> PaHOH.Common Compounds - PaF4, PaF5, PaCl4, PaCl5, PaBr5, PaI3, PaI4, PaI5, PaO, PaO2, Pa2O5.


1. "The Element Protactinium." It's Elemental -. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Mar. 2014.2. "Protactinium." - Element Information, Properties and Uses. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2014.3. "Protactinium." WebElements Periodic Table of the Elements. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2014.4. Shukla, Ishani Chatterjee., 07 Jan. 2011. Web. 10 Mar. 2014.5. Staff, By LiveScience. "Facts About Protactinium." LiveScience. TechMedia Network, 17 Sept. 2013. Web. 7 Mar. 2014.




Discovered by:

Otto Hahn and Lise Meitnerin 1917. But wasn't isolated until 1934 by Aristid von Grosse.

1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3d10 3p6 4s2 4d10 4p6 4f14 5s2 5d10 5p6 5f2

What is the history?The isotope 231Pa was dicovered in 1917, but wasn't isolated until 1934 by Aristid von Grosse. Nearly all uranium-238 (99.8 percent) decays first to the 234mPa isomer and then to 234Pa.How was it discovered?It was a fission product of uranium, thorium and plutonium.Who discovered it?Predicted by Dmitri Mendeleev, discovered by Otto Hahn and Lise Meitner, and isolated by Aristid von Grosse. When? Where?1871, 1917 and 1934.How did it get it's name?Protactinium comes from the Greek word "protos," which means first and actinium, and combined means "parent of actinium." From Pa's radioactive decay, actinium is a decay product.

Emma Leverett


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