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Tellurium Facts

Tellurium Facts
Tellurium (Te) has an atomic number of fifty-two. It is a semi-metallic, silvery-white element that is easily crushed to a powder.
Interesting Tellurium Facts:
Tellurium was discovered in 1783 by Franz Joseph Muller von Reichenstein.
Von Reichenstein was a mine inspector in Transylvania, and discovered tellurium in gold ore.
Martin Heinrich Klaproth named it tellurium, after tellus for "earth."
Tellurium is one of the rarest elements on Earth, but is abundant in space.
It is found on Earth with nearly the same abundance as platinum.
Tellurium is believed to have been depleted from the crust during the formation of the planet due to its volatile reaction with hydrogen.
It is sometimes found in its natural form, but is more often found with gold or other metals in mineral forms.
Tellurium is typically produced from the sludge byproduct of copper refining.
One pound of tellurium is usually produced from the refining of 550 tons of copper.
It is also gathered from the dusts of lead refining.
Tellurium has eight native isotopes.
Five of those isotopes are stable, but the remaining three are radioactive isotopes.
The stable isotopes account for only about 33% of tellurium found on Earth.
One of the radioisotopes, Te-128, has the longest half-life of any of the radionuclides.
The most common use for tellurium is in industrial alloying with lead, copper, or iron.
Tellurium also plays a key role in solar panel technology.
Panels made with tellurium helped produce some of the maximum efficiencies in solar power generation.
Tellurium is also alloyed with mercury and cadmium to form a superconductor that is infrared sensitive.
As demand for tellurium has increased, the price per pound has increased in the 21st century from $14 to over $100.
The US Department of Energy has estimated that the demand for tellurium will cause a deficiency by 2025.

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