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  • Brief Guide: The Role of Iodine on a Global Scale

    The Iodine from Turkmenistan has to offer is among the most sought out one today globally. However, before you decide to get iodine, you need to know a bit about it and why it is important for industries globally.

    Introduction of Iodine

    Iodine was discovered by Bernard Courtois in 1811 when he was actually trying to make saltpeter for the war. For that, his source was seaweed ash and he would get potassium from it. However, one day he tried to wash the ash with sulphuric acid and he noticed purple vapors rising. These vapors condensed into a crystal with a metallic shine. Bernard Courtois was sure that he has discovered a new element. Later research was carried out on these fumes by Bernard’s friends and it was referred to as the halogen element Iodine.

    Iodine Turkmenistan is a colorful element both in its solid and vapor form. It is a blackish blue solid crystal which under normal pressure and temperature sublimes to a violet vapor. That is why it is called iodine (derived from iodes, which means violet). At 20 degrees Celsius, it is a solid crystal but converts into vapors readily. Its atomic weight is 53 and it is placed at the bottom of the halogen group. Being a halogen, iodine is a non-metal.

    It has the highest melting and boiling points among its group members and is the heaviest stable element among all halogens. However, its diatomic bonds are the weakest among them. Its color is the deepest in its group, following a trend in halogens whereby, the color gets deeper as we go down in the group.

    Uses of Iodine

    First of all, in the past, iodine was used in photography. In 1839, Louis Daguerre introduced a technique for getting images on a metal piece. These images were referred to as daguerreotypes.

    However, today iodine is used in a variety of other industries. It is used to make iodized salts, in the dyes and inks and in the medicine and disinfectants. Moreover, it is also used as a catalyst in chemical processes and as an animal supplement. It is still being used in photographic chemicals. Polarized filters for LCDs also employ iodine.

    Importance of Iodine for Human Body

    Iodine deficiency (and excessive iodine) can result in serious problems in the human body. One of the important functions of iodine in our body is to produce thyroxine which regulates the blood sugar level. Iodine’s deficiency can result in an imbalance in the production of this hormone by our thyroid gland. It results in a swollen thyroid gland, a condition called a goiter. To avoid it, iodine is used in table salt on day to day basis.

    Moreover, the radioactive isotopes of iodine-131 are used against the cancerous cells of the thyroid gland. Our body needs as low as 0.1 mg of iodide daily. But still, its deficiency can cause serious ailments, including mental retardation.

    Sources of Iodine

    Besides including iodine in table salt, it can also be obtained from seafood. Seawater has traces of iodine which is assimilated by seaweeds. So, they are a natural source of iodine. However, the commercial sources of iodine today are the iodate minerals, brines left by the dried seawater and the salt wells.

    16 March 2020

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