Is Fluorine a Gas? (+ 3 Fascinating Facts to Know)

Yes, fluorine is a gas at room temperature and standard atmospheric pressure. It is a highly reactive and corrosive gas that is pale yellow in color. 1 2

Well, this was just a simple answer. But there are few more things to know about this topic which will make your concept super clear.

So let’s dive right into it.

Key Takeaways: Is Fluorine a Gas?

  • Fluorine is a highly reactive gas at room temperature and standard pressure.
  • Fluorine can exist in a liquid state, but it requires specific conditions.
  • Gaseous fluorine and liquid fluorine are different states of the same element, with distinct physical and chemical properties.

Why does fluorine exist as a gas at room temperature?

Fluorine (F2) exists as a gas at room temperature because its molecules have a relatively weak intermolecular attraction due to their small size and the presence of strong electronegative forces between its atoms.

Fluorine is a halogen, and its atoms are highly electronegative, meaning they have a strong tendency to attract electrons towards themselves. 3 When two fluorine atoms bond together to form a fluorine molecule, they share their valence electrons and form a very strong covalent bond. 4

The electronegative force between the atoms in the molecule is very strong, which causes the molecule to have a low boiling point.

Furthermore, the size of the fluorine molecule is very small, which means that the van der Waals forces between molecules are relatively weak.

The van der Waals forces are the intermolecular forces that exist between all molecules and are responsible for holding molecules together in a liquid or solid state.

In the case of fluorine, the van der Waals forces are not strong enough to keep the molecules together in a liquid state at room temperature, so fluorine exists as a gas.

In summary, the combination of the strong electronegative force between fluorine atoms and the weak van der Waals forces between fluorine molecules results in fluorine being a gas at room temperature.

Does fluorine exist in liquid state?

Yes, fluorine (F2) can exist in a liquid state, but it requires specific conditions. Fluorine has a very low boiling point (-188.1°C or -306.6°F) and a low melting point (-219.6°C or -363.3°F) which means that it is a gas at standard room temperature and pressure. 5

However, if fluorine is cooled to temperatures below its boiling point and placed under high pressure, it can exist in a liquid state. The critical point of fluorine is at a temperature of -128.85°C and a pressure of 5.172 MPa, which is the temperature and pressure required for the gas to become a liquid. 6 7 8

It is worth noting that liquid fluorine is highly reactive and can react violently with most organic and inorganic substances, including metals, glass, and even water, which can make it challenging to handle and store safely.

Therefore, it is typically only used under controlled conditions and by trained professionals in specialized laboratory settings.

How is gaseous fluorine different from liquid fluorine?

Gaseous fluorine (F2) and liquid fluorine (F2) are different states of the same element, and they have several distinct physical and chemical properties.

  • State: The most apparent difference between gaseous and liquid fluorine is their state. Gaseous fluorine is a colorless, odorless, and highly reactive gas at standard temperature and pressure, whereas liquid fluorine is a pale yellow, dense, and highly reactive liquid. 9
  • Density: Liquid fluorine is much denser than gaseous fluorine. At standard conditions, the density of gaseous fluorine is about 1.7 times less than that of liquid fluorine. The higher density of the liquid state makes it more difficult to handle and store.
  • Boiling and melting point: Gaseous fluorine has a boiling point of -188.1°C (-306.6°F), and a melting point of -219.6°C (-363.3°F). In contrast, the boiling point and melting point of liquid fluorine are -188.1°C (-306.6°F) and -219.6°C (-363.3°F), respectively. 10 This means that liquid fluorine is essentially the same temperature as gaseous fluorine, but at higher pressure.
  • Reactivity: Fluorine is highly reactive, and both gaseous and liquid fluorine can react violently with many substances. However, the reactivity of liquid fluorine is even greater than that of gaseous fluorine, due to the higher density and greater surface area of the liquid.

In summary, gaseous fluorine and liquid fluorine are different states of the same element, with distinct physical and chemical properties. Liquid fluorine is denser, has the same boiling and melting points as gaseous fluorine but at higher pressure, and is even more reactive than the gaseous state.

Further reading

Is Germanium a Metal, Nonmetal or Metalloid?
Is Nitrogen Flammable?
Why is Nitrogen Diatomic?
Why is Fluorine Diatomic?
Why is Bromine Diatomic? 

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  1. US GOV, N. O. (n.d.). FLUORINE | CAMEO Chemicals | NOAA. FLUORINE | CAMEO Chemicals | NOAA.
  2. Burdon, J., Emson, B., & Edwards, A. (1987, January). Is fluorine gas really yellow? Journal of Fluorine Chemistry, 34(3–4), 471–474.
  3. Tantardini, C., & Oganov, A. R. (2021, April 7). Thermochemical electronegativities of the elements. PubMed Central (PMC).
  4. 4.2: Covalent Bonds. (2019, July 1). Chemistry LibreTexts.
  5. It’s Elemental – The Element Fluorine. (n.d.). It’s Elemental – the Element Fluorine.
  6. Fluorine – Wikipedia. (2014, February 16). Fluorine – Wikipedia.
  7. fluorine. (n.d.). Fluorine.
  8. Haynes, W. M. (Ed.). (2014, June 4). CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics.
  9. Patrick Pröhm, S. R. (2019, September 6). Fluorine: The Most Reactive And Indispensable Chemical Element In Our Daily Lives – De Gruyter Conversations. De Gruyter Conversations.
  10. Fluorine – Element information, properties and uses | Periodic Table. (n.d.). Fluorine – Element Information, Properties and Uses | Periodic Table.

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