Properties, Uses and Application of Krypton Element


Krypton could be considered as a colorless, odorless, tasteless inert gas that happens to be in trace amounts within the atmosphere and is usually used with different rare gases in fluorescent lamps. With rare exceptions, krypton can be more or less considered chemically inert.

Around 1ppm of Krypton is found in the air of the earth. But the concentration of this gas varies in the atmosphere depending on the planet. For example, the concentration of this gas is really less in the atmosphere of the neighboring planet, Mars. It is about 0.3ppm. Brilliant green and orange spectral line are its identifying feature. The spectral line for this inert gas can be very easily produced and a couple of the spectral lines produced are found to be extremely sharp. The mostly used spectral line is that of the isotope Kr-33 that produces sharp orange-red line. 


Krypton is characterized by many sharp emission lines (spectral signatures) the strongest being inexperienced and yellow. Krypton is one in all the product of metallic element fission. Solid inert gas is white and encompasses a face-centered cubical form crystal structure, that could be a common property of all noble gases (except atomic number 2, that encompasses a polygon compact crystal structure). 

Krypton, just like the different noble gases, is employed in lighting and photography. Krypton light has many spectral lines, and krypton plasma is useful in bright, high-powered gas lasers (krypton ion and excimer lasers), each of which resonates and amplifies a single spectral line. Krypton fluoride also makes a useful laser medium. From 1960 to 1983, the official length of a meter was outlined by the 605 nm wavelength of the orange spectral line of krypton-86, as a result of the high power and relatively simple operation of inert gas discharge tubes.


Some additional facts

Krypton was discovered in 1898 by Scottish chemist and physicist Sir William Ramsay (1852-1916) and English chemist Morris William Travers (1872-1961). Along with it, three other noble gases were also discovered. It was produced while the liquid air was being allowed to evaporate. Three of the noble gases discovered on that day include—krypton, xenon, and neon. The term noble gas belongs to elements in Group 18 (VIIIA) of the periodic table. These gases are called by the name "noble" because they remain unaffected even by the presence of any other chemical and never undergo any reaction under normal condition. Until the 1960s, no compound of these gases was discovered.. Due to their inactiveness, they were given the name inert as well.

Naturally occurring inert gas in the Earth's atmosphere, this inert gas consists of 5 stable isotopes, and one atom (78Kr) with such an extended half-life (9.2×1021 years) that it may be thought-about stable. (This atom has the second-longest best-known half-life among all isotopes that decay has been observed; it undergoes double negatron capture to 78Se).Again additionally, regarding thirty unstable isotopes and isomers are best-known. Traces of 81Kr, a cosmogonic nuclide created by the ionizing radiation irradiation of 80Kr, conjointly occur in nature: this atom is hot with a half-life of 230,000 years. Krypton is extremely volatile and doesn't keep in resolution in near-surface water, however, 81Kr has been used for chemical analysis previous (50,000–800,000 years) groundwater.

85Kr is associate inert hot inert gas with a half-life of 10.76 years. It is created by the fission of uranium (U) and polyurethane (Pu), like in nuclear bomb testing and nuclear reactors. 85Kr is free throughout the reprocessing of fuel rods from nuclear reactors. As a result of the convective mixing in the North Pole, the concentration of this inert gas is found to be 30 percent more in this pole as compared to the South pole.


atomic number36
atomic weight83.80
melting point−156.6 °C (−249.9 °F)
boiling point−152.3 °C (−242.1 °F)
density (1 atm, 0 °C [32 °F])3.733 g/litre (0.049 ounce/gallon)
oxidation numbers0, 2
electron config.(Ar)3d104s24p6


With no difference with other noble gases, krypton is highly chemically unreactive. But prior to the 1960s, no noble gas compounds had ever been synthesized. But the manufacturing of xenon followed by formation of Krypton difluoride (KrF2) marked the beginning.

Kr + F2 → KrF2 (under extreme conditions)
Compounds with krypton bonded to atoms except fluorine have also been later manufactured.
KrF2 reacts with B(OTeF5)  producing an unstable compound, Kr(OTeF5)2, with a krypton-oxygen bond.
KrF2 reacts with [HC≡NH]+[AsF6] below −50 °C to produce the cation [HC≡N–Kr–F]+.
Various crystals of Krypton binary compound (Kr(H2)4) are often produced at pressures higher than five GPa. [Pa=Pascal]


Earth has preserved all of the noble gases that were a gift at its formation except noble gas. Krypton's concentration within the atmosphere is around 1 ppm. It is often extracted from the air by the process of fractional distillation. the quantity of inert gas in the space is not confirmed, because the measurement is derived from meteoric activity and solar winds


Krypton is employed in some photographic flashes for prime speed photography. Krypton gas is additionally combined with different gases to create lucent signs that glow with a bright greenish-yellow light-weight.

Krypton is mixed with an element in energy economical fluorescent lamps, reducing the facility consumption, however conjointly reducing the sunshine output and raising the value. 

The colored neon tubes found in advertising boards on roadsides are mostly krypton based. Within the red spectral line region this inert gas produces much bright light power as compared to neon and thus, during laser shows the red lasers used are mostly krypton lasers along with a mirror that selects the specific red spectral line for emission of the laser.

The krypton halide optical device is vital in nuclear fusion reaction energy analysis in confinement experiments. The optical device has a beam of light uniformity, short wavelength, and also the spot size is varied to trace the imploding pellet.
In experimental high energy physics, liquid krypton is employed to construct quasi-homogeneous magnetic attraction calorimeters. A notable example is that the measuring instrument of the NA48 experiment at CERN containing concerning twenty-seven tonnes of liquid krypton. This usage is rare since liquid inert gas is comparatively less expensive.

The conserved spark gap assemblies in detonation exciters in some older jet engines include a little quantity of krypton-85 in order to offer steady ionization levels and uniform function.Krypton-83 has application in resonance imaging (MRI) for imaging airways. In explicit, it permits the specialist to differentiate between hydrophobic and hydrophilic surfaces containing an airway.
Although it has the potential to be used in Computed Tomography (CT) to assess regional ventilation, its anesthetic properties limit its fraction within the respiratory gas to thirty-fifth. A breathing mixture of 30% xenon and 30% krypton can be compared to effectiveness for to a 40% xenon fraction, in the meantime also avoiding the unwelcomed impacts of the high partial pressure of xenon gas.

Krypton-85, one of the metastable isotopes of this inert gas is employed in the medical specialty for respiratory organ ventilation/perfusion scans, wherever it's inhaled and imaged with a gamma camera.

The isotopic variety Krypton-85 mixed in the atmosphere has also been exploited to figure out the nuclear fuel reprocessing facilities in the countries like Pakistan and North Korea. Those facilities when discovered during the time of the early 2000s, it was largely believed that they were implemented to produce weapons-grade plutonium.
It also serves the purpose of an insulating gas between the sheets of glasses in windows pane.


Impact of Krypton on health:

  • 1. Inhalation: Krypton has a narcotic potency seven times more than air, and breathing an atmosphere of 50% krypton and 50% natural air (as might happen in the locality of a leak) may lead to narcosis in humans which is almost similar to breathing air at four times atmospheric pressure. This can be compared to scuba diving at a depth of 30 m (100 ft) and may harm anyone breathing it. Along with that, the mixture would have only 10% oxygen as compared to the normal 20% and may result in hypoxia.

  • This inert gas has been recognized as a simple asphyxiant. Inhalation in excessive concentrations may result in dizziness, nausea, vomiting, loss of consciousness, and under extreme circumstances, even death. If the oxygen concentration is low in the air exhaled with Kr in it, unconsciousness and death may occur in seconds without warning.
    Symptoms: Rapid respirations and air hunger are the first appearing symptoms. Mental alertness gets gradually weakened, and muscular coordination is disturbed. Later on in the stage, all sensations start getting depressed. Emotional instability may also appear and fatigue will accompany these symptoms. These may be followed by nausea and vomiting, prostration and loss of consciousness, and finally convulsions, deep coma, and death.

    Environmental effects of Krypton

    Though, Krypton is a rare atmospheric gas and is being considered as such is non-toxic and chemically inert, but at extreme cold temperature (-244oC) it will freeze organisms on contact, but no long term environmental side effects are anticipated.

    Things to be considered before disposal of the gas 

    The gas should not be disposed of anywhere except in a well-ventilated outdoor location which is far away from residential places or places where the human can go on a regular basis. No residual gas should be disposed of in compressed gas cylinders.