What are chalcophile and lithophile elements? explain

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llltkl | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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Elements of Group 16, i.e. oxygen, Sulphur, Selenium, Tellurium and Polonium are called Chalcogens. Metals that remain geochemically associated with these elements (barring oxygen and radioactive polonium, and with a few additional similar associations viz. With arsenic and antimony) are called Chalcophile elements. Examples include Zn, Cd, Hg, Pb, Cu, Ni, Fe, Co, Mo, Re etc. Covalent sulphides are the most dominant minerals of this class of elements.  

The lithophile elements, on the other hand, remain predominantly associated with oxygen, alongside rocks in the Earth’s crust. A number of oxygenated groups such as oxides, silicates, aluminosilicates, carbonates, sulphates, phosphates, vanadates, and halides are also found. They generally have filled outer electron shells. Examples include C, Si, Al, H, P, N, Mg, Ca, Ba, Sr, Na, Cr, Mn, Li, Ti, Th etc.