What are two major elements common in Europe and what is made with them?

Jan 24, 2017

The two most common elements in the Earth's crust in Europe are silicon and oxygen.

Explanation:

Silicon

Silicon exists as silicon dioxide (sand, ${\text{SiO}}_{2}$) and various silicates.

Major deposits in Belgium and the Netherlands produce about 20 Mt/yr of almost pure silicon sand.

Manufacturers use the sand to produce silicon chips, glass, and ceramics.

The addition of small amounts of $\text{B, P}$, and $\text{As}$ to highly purified silicon converts it into a semiconductor.

Various types of semiconductor chips are found in almost all electronic devices.

Oxygen

The atmosphere is about 21 % oxygen, and oxygen is the third-most produced industrial chemical in the world.

Most of the production plants use cryogenic distillation of air to separate the oxygen, and Europe uses about 40 % of its industrial oxygen in the preparation of metals.

For example, in 2012 three countries alone (Russia, Germany, and Italy) used about 5 Mt of oxygen to produce 141 Mt of steel.