The element beryllium is the least reactive of the earth alkali metals. It does not dissolve in water. It is protected by an impermeable oxide layer, just as aluminium. Chemically speaking, the metal resembles aluminium in many ways. Like aluminium, its hydroxide is very sparingly soluble. It can form beryllates in alkaline media, like aluminium can form aluminates. The solubility of many beryllium salts resembles the solubility of the corresponding aluminium salts. The appearance of beryllium also is similar to the appearance of aluminium, although it looks more grayish.

Metallic beryllium is available for the public at a regular basis on eBay, through elements-collectors items vendors. It is, however, strongly recommended not to cut the beryllium samples into small pieces.

Beryllium and its salts are exceedingly toxic to humans. This makes the use of beryllium in the home lab a no-go. Besides that, beryllium chemistry resembles aluminium chemistry so much, such that there is no real need to use beryllium anyway.




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