# Beryllium Fluoride

Beryllium fluoride ($$BeF_2$$) is a white solid being used as the principal precursor for the manufacture of beryllium metal. The production of beryllium is done by the reduction of$$BeF_2$$ at 1300°C with magnesium in a graphite crucible:

$BeF_2 + Mg \rightarrow Be + MgF_2$

In order to obtain $$BeF_2$$ beryllium ores (mainly bertrandite) are converted into $$Be(OH)_2$$. The impure $$Be(OH)_2$$ then reacts with ammonium bifluoride to give ammonium tetrafluorberyllate:

$Be(OH)_2 + 2 (NH_4)HF_2 \rightarrow (NH_4)_2BeF_4 + 2 H_2O$

Tetrafluorberyllate is a robust ion, which allows its purification by precipitation of various impurities as their hydroxides. Heating purified $$(NH_4)_2BeF_4$$ gives the desired product:

$(NH_4)_2BeF_4 \rightarrow 2 NH_3 + 2 HF + BeF_2$