5 Uses of Selenium

Selenium (symbolized as “Se”) is one of the flexible elements in the periodic table. Its allotropic forms can be observed in several objects like the metallic gray and reddish crystals.

Selenium was a term coined by scientist Berzelius who discovered it way back in 1817. It came from the Greek word “selene”, which means moon. Although this element is one of the rare kinds on the planet, it can be normally found in minerals and in trace elements.


Selenium is often found in copper and lead mining. Its related families are Polonium (Po) and Tellurium (Te).


  1. Glass: Perhaps, this is one of the most common applications of selenium. Adding a pinch of the element can give your glass a red color. If you will use some trace amounts, however, you can decolorize the glass.
  2. Solar Cells: Did you know that selenium also has photovoltaic property? Selenium has been known as one of the most versatile elements in the periodic table. Aside from imparting a red color, it has the ability to convert light into energy. It is one of the reasons why selenium is an integral part of any product used to convert the sun’s thermal energy into electricity.
  3. Food and pharmaceutical products: Taking a large volume of selenium can be poisonous. This element is one of the essential minerals of nutrition, but it must be consumed in trace amounts for you to survive. Humans usually get their appropriate daily consumption of selenium through eating meat.
  4. Power Converters: DC power comes from batteries while AC power comes from walls. If you wish to convert these power into the other, selenium can make it possible.
  5. Photocopiers: Selenium works in photocopier applications in the same manner that it does with solar cells. Photocopiers make use of the element’s ability to turn light energy into another form.

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