Cinnabar is a bright red mineral consisting of mercury and sulfur. It provides most of the world’s supply of mercury. The chemical formula for Cinnabar is Hgs. Cinnabar has crystals that have six-sides, but the crystals rarely appear as large crystals. Cinnabar usually occurs in the earthy masses or scattered in opal. Cinnabar is found mostly near the earth’s surface, close to any volcanic rocks and hot springs.
Cinnabar has a chemical element called mercury. Mercury is a sliver-colored metal. Mercury is used for thermometer; mercury is also a good conductor of electricity. So it’s used in switches and relays to make operate them silently and efficiently. Mercury, refiners’ heat cinnabar in a flow of air, Oxygen in the air combines with the sulfur in the ore, forming sulfur dioxide gas and leaving mercury behind (World Book pg. 414) [pic][pic]
To get the mercury out of the mineral they first ground the mineral. Then they pound it until it is almost or and very fine powder. After that the Cinnabar powder with then be heated up to 375 degrees. At that point the mercury will boil out. Because of the low boiling point it is very easy to produce very pure mercury. [pic]
In 1908, Camelling Onnes made use of this pineal and its relatively high receptivity to prove the concept of superconductivity, which he received the Nobel Prize for (Website).
Mercury is being used less in batteries as new types of batteries are developed, suck as zinc air, lithium and nickel-cadmium batteries. Ceramics’ have lately been used in dental work instead of the mercury amalgams. Electronic digital instruments are used more frequently in place of mercury thermometer and barometers (Mineral Information Institute). [pic]