The ionic radius of Be2+ is estimated to be 31 pm; the charge/radius ratio is nearly the same as that of the Al3+ ion. Hence beryllium resembles aluminium in some ways. Some of the similarities are:
(i) Like aluminium, beryllium is not readily attacked by acids because of the presence of an oxide film on the surface of the metal.
(ii) Beryllium hydroxide dissolves in excess of alkali to give a beryllate ion, [Be(OH)4] 2– just as aluminium hydroxide gives aluminate ion, [Al(OH)4] – .
(iii) The chlorides of both beryllium and aluminium have Cl– bridged chloride structure in vapour phase. Both the chlorides are soluble in organic solvents and are strong Lewis acids. They are used as Friedel Craft catalysts.
(iv) Beryllium and aluminium ions have strong tendency to form complexes, BeF4 2–, AlF6 3– .