Selenium

Atoms of selenium

Selenium (Se), is a gray christiline nonmetal with semiconducting properties.-google

Selenium is a chemical element with symbol Se and atomic number 34. It is a nonmetal with properties that are intermediate between those of its periodic table column-adjacent chalcogen elements sulfur and tellurium. It rarely occurs in its elemental state in nature, or as pure ore compounds.-google.

Discovery

Selenium was discovered by Jöns Jacob Berzelius, a Swedish chemist, in 1817 after analyzing an impurity that was contaminating the sulfuric acid (H2SO4) being produced at a particular factory in Sweden. Originally believing the material was tellurium, Berzelius eventually realized that it was actually a previously unknown element. Selenium occurs in minerals such as eucairite (CuAgSe), crooksite (CuThSe) and clausthalite (PbSe), but these minerals are too rare to use as a major source of selenium. Today, most selenium is obtained as a byproduct of refining copper.-jefferson lab

What it looks like

What its used for

Selenium is a mineral found in the soil. Selenium naturally appears in water and some foods. While people only need a very small amount, selenium plays a key role in the metabolism Selenium has attracted attention because of its antioxidant properties. Antioxidants protect cells from damage. Evidence that selenium supplements may reduce the odds of prostate cancer has been mixed, but most studies suggest there is no real benefit. Selenium does not seem to affect the risk of colorectal or lung cancer. But beware: selenium also seems to increase the risk of non- melanoma skin cancer.- WebMd