Germanium (Ge) is a trace element in the Earth’s crust and natural waters, averaging about 1.6 ppm in rocks and minerals (El Wardani 1957; Bernstein 1985) and 75 picomol/L in seawater (Froelich and Andreae 1981). The naturally occurring oxidation states of Ge are +2 and +4, with the +4 state forming the principal common and stable compounds. Germanium has outer electronic structure 3d10 4s2 4p2 and mainly occurs in the quadrivalent state, although in some minerals it is octahedrally coordinated. Germanium is chemically similar to silicon (Si), both belonging...

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