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In 1823, Jöns Jacob Berzelius prepared amorphous silicon using approximately the same method as Gay-Lussac (reducing potassium fluorosilicate with molten potassium metal), but purifying the product to a brown powder by repeatedly washing it.
The same year, Berzelius became the first to prepare silicon tetrachloride; silicon tetrafluoride had already been prepared long before in 1771 by Carl Wilhelm Scheele by dissolving silica in hydrofluoric acid.
Silicon compounds such as silicon carbide are used as abrasives and components of high-strength ceramics.
Elemental silicon also has a large impact on the modern world economy.
Silicates are used in Portland cement for mortar and stucco, and mixed with silica sand and gravel to make concrete for walkways, foundations, and roads.
They are also used in whiteware ceramics such as porcelain, and in traditional quartz-based soda-lime glass and many other specialty glasses.
Silicon Valley is a TV show that was much talked about even before it's debut on HBO.
Silicon is the eighth most common element in the universe by mass, but very rarely occurs as the pure element in the Earth's crust.
Most free silicon is used in the steel refining, aluminium-casting, and fine chemical industries (often to make fumed silica).