Iodine has numerous industrial and domestic uses, which makes it an important element. It has several environmental and health effects due to its chemical characteristics.
Iodine is a chemical element characterized by a dark grey color that is lustrous and in solid form. This element is known to be the most electropositive halogen while being the least reactive element categorized under halogens. The numerous benefits of iodine make it a sought-after element provided by top iodine suppliers. One characteristic of iodine is that it easily sublimes upon heating to produce a purple vapor. Another characteristic of this element is that it dissolves in certain solvents like carbon tetrachloride while being a slightly soluble solid.
Iodine is used in numerous industrial applications, which make the top iodine suppliers on demand. It is used in medical treatment in the form of tincture and iodoform. There are several drugs that require the use of iodine in their preparation. In the manufacturing industry, it is used in the production of dyes and printing inks. Photographers use silver iodine in their work. For domestic use, iodine is added to table salt and as a supplement to feeds given to animals.
What Are the Industrial Uses of Iodine?
Silver iodide used in photography is a light-sensitive compound found in photographic plates, films, and papers. The surface of such photographic objects is usually covered with silver iodide particles. The compound chemically combines with light to produce black silver atoms that form deposits on the plate, paper, or film for the creation of an image.
Modification of Weather
Meteorologists also use silver iodide in cloud seeding, which is a process of modifying weather. It has the same crystalline structure as that of ice. The crystals act as the nuclei, which allow the water to condense with increased precipitation.
Many displays and optical instruments use polarizers. Experts use films that are iodine-based due to their top-quality characteristics compared to those made from dyes. The polarizers are commonly used to provide contrast in LCD (Liquid Crystal Displays).
Scientists use iodine due to its radioactive tracing characteristics. The substance contains a radioactive isotope that produces radiation as it is passed through a particular medium. A receiver is then placed to track the development of the isotope. In the medical filed, iodine is used to obtain diagnostics such as in X-rays, imaging scans, ultrasound, axial tomography. The largest market for iodine is the health industry. Tracers are also introduced to heavy industrial machinery to identify damaged parts and leaks.
The compound known as methyl iodide is a compound of iodine used in agriculture as a pesticide. The compound is used in soil fumigation before planting. Previously, agriculturalists used methyl bromide, but due to its damaging effects on the environment, methyl iodide was regarded as a better alternative. It is important to note that methyl iodide is thought to have carcinogenic properties.
Iodine and the Environment
Iodine is used widely as a substance in various compounds. As a common compound found in bread, aquatic plants, and sea fish, iodine is a naturally occurring element in the ocean and aquatic plants. It can also be found present in the atmosphere, soil, and water. The largest source of iodine is the ocean evident from the 400. 000 tons of iodine that leave the ocean annually as methyl iodide, sea spray, hydrochloric acid, which are produced by aquatic organisms. Most of the iodine that escapes ends up on land and is incorporated into the bio-cycle.
The environmental effects of iodine begin with the combination of iodine and the air, which then reacts with water and finds its way to the soils. The iodine present in the soil then mixes with organic substances and remain in that particular place for long periods. The plants that get nourishment from such soil end up absorbing the iodine, which is then transferred to animals that consume the plants.
The iodine that is present in the surface water vaporizes and then goes back to the atmosphere. Human beings are also responsible for adding iodine gas to the atmosphere through the burning of coal for energy. The amount of iodine from human activity is quite minimal compared to that of the oceans.
Iodine element is considered to be radioactive since radioactive isotopes are naturally occurring from chemical reactions. The radioactive isotopes of iodine are not stable and hence eventually form into more stable forms. There is one type of radioactive isotope of iodine, which takes millions of years to stabilize and is considered to be harmful to the environment. This type of isotope usually enters the atmosphere from nuclear plants as a result of the processing of uranium and plutonium. Radioactive iodine has been released to the environment due to accidents that occur in power plants.