This week, The European Chemical Society revealed their new periodic table to generate awareness among the world about the element scarcity.
The event took place on Tuesday, 22ND January 2019, The European Chemical Society explained their periodic table. It depicts the various elements which are on the verge of scarcity because of multiple reasons.
In general, the periodic table consists of about 118 elements, out of which 90 elements occur naturally. While the remaining elements are super-heavy elements which are synthesized in the laboratories.
Due to various human-made activities, earth’s natural resources are depleting quickly; so the organization wanted to highlight this problem by their periodic table.
How is the New Periodic Table Constructed?
The new periodic table uses various color notation to represent the rate of depletion of different elements:
- Red: Represents elements which are on the verge of getting depleted forever.
- Orange: Represents elements which are depleting at a faster rate due to their overuse.
- Yellow: represents elements which are available in scarce quantity.
- Green: Represents elements which are still available in plenty.
David Cole-Hamilton, the Vice President of The European Chemical Society mentioned that “Some of these elements, we have less than a hundred years before it’s much more difficult to get hold of them.“
He also stated that Helium (He); Silver (Ag); Tellurium (Te); Gallium (Ga); Germanium (Ge); Strontium (Sr); Yttrium (Y); Zinc (Zn); Indium (In); Arsenic (As); Hafnium (Hf); Tantalum (Ta) are mainly the elements that are on the verge of depletion in the next 100 years or less.
Out of all the elements, Helium is depleting the fastest; because of its wide use in various fields like MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) Scanners, Deep Sea diving apparatus, party balloons, etc.
Cole Hamilton warned the audience by stating that “The amount of Helium at the moment is very low and the reserves are probably only enough for about 10 years.”
MRI Scanners and Deep Sea Diving recycle the Helium; but the party balloons pop and release the Helium into the air. As stated by Cole-Hamilton, “Helium being light and stable can float to the earth’s edge and disappear forever into the outer-space.”
The organization is expecting that their new periodic table will create a sense of awareness among the people; which will encourage them to use those rare elements judiciously. Also, encourage proper recycling of the products containing those rare elements.