Beryllium: historical information

  • Discoveror: Nicholas Louis Vauquelin (1763-1829)
  • Place of discovery: France
  • Date of discovery: 1797
  • Origin of name : from the Greek word "beryllos" meaning "beryl".

Emeralds and beryl were both known to early Egyptians but it was not realised until the end of the 18th century that they are the same mineral, now called beryllium aluminium silicate: [Be3Al2(SiO3)6]. The element was recognised by M.-L. Vauquelin in 1798 in beryl and emeralds. The metal was isolated much later on in 1828 by Friederich Wöhler (and independently by A.-A.B. Bussy) by the action of potassium on BeCl2 in a platinum crucible.

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