Why is beryllium not reactive in water

2. Main group: The alkaline earth metals

elemental calcium
The elements of main group II of the periodic table are called alkaline earth metals. The elements belong to them beryllium, magnesium, Calcium, strontium and barium. Since beryllium occupies a special position in this group and is close to aluminum in its chemical properties, it is not counted among the alkaline earth metals in some considerations.
In terms of the abundance of alkaline earth metals, calcium comes first, followed by magnesium. Barium, strontium and beryllium are much rarer, whereas radium only occurs as an intermediate product in radioactive decay series. The share of alkaline earth metals in the formation of the earth's crust is slightly more than 4 percent. Because of their reactivity, they never occur elementally under natural conditions.
The alkaline earth metals are silvery-white, shiny light metals with different hardnesses. When exposed to air, their surface is quickly covered with a thin layer of oxide. They have melting points between 649 ° C (magnesium) and 1278 ° C (beryllium) and boiling points between 1107 ° C (magnesium) and 2970 ° C (beryllium). They therefore generally have a higher melting point than the alkali metals. Their density is also greater than that of the elements of the first main group. Alkaline earth metals are good electrical conductors.
Alkaline earth metals are less reactive than the alkali metals. But they are still among the most reactive metals after them. The reactivity of the alkaline earth metals increases with increasing atomic number. In contrast to the other elements of the group, beryllium and magnesium react very slowly with water, because the resulting hydroxide layer makes further water attack difficult. In contrast, calcium, strontium and barium react violently even with cold water. Unlike the salts of the alkali metals, many of the alkaline earth metals are only sparingly soluble in water.
Alkaline earth metals also produce typical flame colors, which is why they are part of many fireworks: calcium light red, strontium red and barium green.

next page