Chemically inert (Latin for “inactive, uninvolved, sluggish”) refers to substances that do not react or react only to a negligible extent with potential reaction partners (such as air , water , reactants and products of a reaction ) under the given conditions . The term is often not used clearly in the chemical literature. In connection with reaction kinetics , inert is used as the opposite of unstable , just as a distinction is often made between stable and unstable in chemical thermodynamics . The International Union for Pure and Applied Chemistry , on the other hand, defines the term as stable and unreactive under given conditions .
Inert gases such as noble gases , many noble metals under normal conditions or often the solvents and carrier gases used in reactions are chemically inert . Inert is not an absolute term: under certain conditions otherwise inert substances can also enter into chemical reactions (nitrogen reacts in combustion engines to form nitrogen oxides , platinum reacts in aqua regia ). For many years the noble gases, i.e. elementary gases such as helium and xenon, were considered completely inert, but in 1962 the British chemist Neil Bartlett showed that noble gases can very well undergo chemical reactions under drastic reaction conditions.
Inert dusts are particles of a substance that is not known to have any harmful effects on the human body. These include, for example, starch and cellulose .
- ↑ Entry on inert . In: IUPAC Compendium of Chemical Terminology (the “Gold Book”) . doi : 10.1351 / goldbook.I03026 Version: 2.3.2.