School Science Lessons
Please send comments to: J.Elfick@uq.edu.au
7.0 Properties of elements
Table of contents
Sb, Antimony, properties: 18.104.22.168.0
Ar, Argon, properties: 22.214.171.124
As, Arsenic, properties
At, Astatine, Astatine
Ba, Barium, properties: 126.96.36.199
Bi, Bismuth, properties: 188.8.131.52
B, Boron, properties: 184.108.40.206
Br, Bromine, properties: 220.127.116.11
Cd, Cadmium, properties: 18.104.22.168
C, Carbon properties: 16.4.1
Ca, Calcium, properties: 3.71.3
Calcium compounds: 3.71.4
Cl, Chlorine, properties: 22.214.171.124
Cr, Chromium, properties: 126.96.36.199
Co, Cobalt, properties: 188.8.131.52
Cu, Copper, properties: 184.108.40.206
Deuterium isotope: 3.6.1
F, Fluorine: 220.127.116.11
Au, Gold, properties
He, Helium, properties: 18.104.22.168
H, Hydrogen, properties: 22.214.171.124
I, Iodine, properties: 126.96.36.199
Fe, Iron, properties: 188.8.131.52
Kr, Krypton, properties: 184.108.40.206
Pb, Lead, properties: 220.127.116.11
Li, Lithium, properties: 18.104.22.168
Mg, Magnesium, Properties
Mn, Manganese, Properties
Hg, Mercury, properties: 22.214.171.124
Mo, Molybdenum, properties: 126.96.36.199
Ne, Neon, properties
Ni, Nickel, properties: 188.8.131.52
N, Nitrogen, properties: 184.108.40.206
O, Oxygen, O2
Pa, Palladium: 220.127.116.11.3
P, Phosphorus, properties: 18.104.22.168
Pt, Platinum, properties: 22.214.171.124
Se, Selenium, properties: 126.96.36.199
Si, Silicon, properties: 188.8.131.52
Ag, Silver, properties: 184.108.40.206
Na, Sodium, properties
Sr, Strontium, properties: 220.127.116.11
S, Sulfur, properties: 18.104.22.168
Sn, Tin, properties
Ti, Titanium, properties: 22.214.171.124a
W, Tungsten, properties: 126.96.36.199
U, Uranium, properties: 188.8.131.52
Xe, Xenon, properties: 184.108.40.206
Zn, Zinc, properties: 220.127.116.11
Antimony, Sb (Greek anti monos not alone) (Latin stibium,
hence Sb), stibium, antimony regulus, silver-white, brittle metalloid,
powder, shot, particles, in plastics, textiles, rubber, adhesives, pigments,
In coal and petroleum.
In tropical parasite medicine.
Alloys in solder, sheet, pipe, bearing and type, blue white silvery metal
with a gleaming surface (star antimony) or as a grey powder,
(grey wolf), hence the name "anti monos" (against singleness), because
it has two forms.
It burns in air but has no reaction with water or dilute acids, attached
by halogens and oxidizing acids, poor conductor of heat and
electricity, used in alloys for cable covers, pewter and lead cell accumulator
plates, donor impurity in silicon chips, radioactive isotopes
to produce neutrons, from stibnite Sb2S3.
Antimony black (powdered antimony used to give plaster casts metallic look).
Antimony and antimony salts are available from artists' suppliers.
It was used in emetic medicine, but is toxic in excess.
It was in the black powder eye makeup, kohl, as used by Jezebel in the Bible (2 Kings 9:30).
Naples yellow, antimony white and antimony black are all highly toxic cumulative poisons.
Yellow antimony lead paint is said to have been used on Nebuchadnezzar's
"Hanging Gardens of Babylon".
Atomic number: 51, Relative atomic mass: 121.75, r.d. 6.68, m.p. = 630.5oC,
b.p. = 1750oC.
Specific heat capacity: 210 J kg-1 K-1.
Argon, Ar (Greek argos idle, because this noble gas will not react
with other substances), in compressed air cylinders, non-metal, inert,
colourless, odourless, noble gas at room temperature and pressure, 0.93%
of the air, extracted from liquid air.
Chemically inactive, no compounds, monatomic gaseous element, in incandescent light bulbs, fluorescent tubes, lasers, and welding.
Most abundant noble gas, 0.9% of atmosphere by volume.
The only neutral compound of argon is argon fluorohydride, HArF, but the compound collapses at very low temperature
First "noble" gas, discovered by William Ramsay in 1894.
Argon means "lazy".
Atomic number: 18, Relative atomic mass: 39.948, r.d. 1.40 (87 K), m.p.= -189oC, b.p. = -186oC.
Specific heat capacity: 519 J kg-1 K-1.
Barium, Ba (Greek barus heavy), alkaline earth metal, Highly toxic if ingested or by skin contact.
Barium ion, Ba2+, Barium meal, barium sulfate radio-opaque mixture for X-ray examination of alimentary tract.
Brittle and expensive, used to absorb high energy particles, burns with green colour in fireworks, in minerals barytes, BaSO4
and witherite, BaCO3, forms poisonous compounds, oxidizes in air and reacts with ethanol.
Barium sulfate is used for a contrast medium for X-ray examination of intestines.
Surface coating of barium hydroxide corrosive to the eyes.
The reaction of barium with water produces flammable hydrogen gas.
Barium is very difficult to cut.
Atomic number: 56, Relative atomic mass: 137.33, r.d. 3.51, m.p. = 725oC, b.p. = 1640oC.
Specific heat capacity: 192 J kg-1 K-1.
Bismuth, Bi (Latin bismutum), bismuth mineral, natural bismuth has, cubic crystals.
Harmful if ingested, shot, granular, fine particles easily ignited, red-white, easily fusible natural bismuth, salts for medical use, "hopper
crystals" in staircase crystalline patterns are iridescent artificial bismuth crystals with a hollow centres, m.p. 271oC,
pink-white metallic crystals, from bismuthinite mineral Bi2S3 and niccolite, cobaltite, but rare in the earth,
very diamagnetic, low thermal conductivity, high electrical resistance, burns in air with blue flame and emits yellow fumes, expands when
freezes, used in low melting point alloys for fire safety equipment, thermocouples, magnetic flux measurement, liquid metal coolant for nuclear
reactors, cosmetics and medicines, e.g. bismuth subsalicylate active ingredient in "Pepto-Bismol", and bismuth carbonate for peptic ulcers,
in paints, dyes, pewter, and "dragon's eggs" fireworks, geology hopper crystals in staircase crystalline patterns.
Atomic number: 83, Relative atomic mass: 208.98, r.d. 9.78, m.p. = 271.3oC, b.p. = 1560oC.
Specific heat capacity: 123 J kg-1 K-1.
Boron, B (Persian būra borax), non-metallic, occurs as brown amorphous powder or black crystals
Highly toxic by all routes, keep demonstration lump, not powder, keep specimen in sealed glass container
Pure boron prepared by pyrolysis of boron hydrides and halides, or reduction of boron chloride or bromide with hydrogen.
Boron is inert in its crystalline form, unaffected by boiling hydrochloric
acid or hydrofluoric acid.
Finely powdered boron is slowly oxidized by hot concentrated nitric acid.
Other hot concentrated oxidizing agents only very slowly attack boron.
Not an abundant element, does not occur in nature, mainly found in borates, e.g. borax and kernite, a non-metal or metalloid,
yellow-brown network solid, brown amorphous form and black metallic form, has metallic lustre, very hard (9.3 Mohs' scale), and
strong semiconductor, found in minerals, e.g. tourmaline, and associated with volcanic activity as borates, used in control rods for
nuclear reactors and in green flares.
Tourmaline, NaFe3Al6[(OH)4(BO3)3, Si6, O18],
(in Pegmatites), double refraction, contains about 10 % boron.
Used in heat resistant glassware (Pyrex), soap, pesticides, cosmetics, leather products, cement products.
Atomic number: 5, Relative atomic mass: 10.81, r.d. 2.34 (amorphous form), m.p. = 2300oC, b.p. = 2550oC.
Specific heat capacity: 123 × 103 J kg-1 K-1.
Bromine experiments: 12.19.6
Bromine, Br (Greek bromos stench) (French brome), bromide ion Br-, gas Br2, is a red-brown,
fuming, volatile, poisonous, non-metal liquid between 19oC and 27oC, suffocation odour, vapour irritates eyes
and throat, strong oxidizing agent, used for many chemical compounds including "anti-knock" petrol additive.
Silver bromide was important for photography.
Bromoform, tribromomethane, CHBr3 used to separate minerals.
Bromothymol blue indicator, pH 6.0 to 7.6.
Potassium bromide, was formerly used as sedative and was said to be put in army tea to quieten soldiers' sexual urges.
Bromochlorodifluoromethane, CHBrClF2, low toxic fire extinguisher for confined spaces.
The fat soluble fire retardant PBDE, polybromyldiphenyl ether, in the deca, octa and penta forms, has been detected in mothers' milk,
fish and the environment, (Poison COR 1744).
Br2 (3.6% bromine), r.d. 3.12 gm cm-3, bp 58.7oC, solidifies -7oC (swimming pool
sanitation, products from bromine, e.g. BCDMH).
Bromine is a dense red-brown liquid with a powerfully irritant vapour.
Bromine water, a yellow-orange solution of bromine in water, is usually available commercially.
Handle pure liquid bromine in small quantities in a fume cupboard.
The liquid is unexpectedly dense, so increasing the chance of containers being dropped by inexperienced people.
Breakage of a bottle of bromine outside a fume cupboard will require evacuation of the area until the vapour dissipates.
Bromine reacts violently with active metals, e.g. aluminium / magnesium and sodium.
Do not allow active metals to contact liquid bromine.
Always store the bromine in a cool secure store area.
Atomic number: 35, Relative atomic mass: 79.904, r.d. 3.12, m.p. = -7.2oC, b.p. = 58.78oC.
Specific heat capacity: 448 J kg-1 K-1.
Cadmium, Cd (Latin cadmia calamine mineral, a zinc ore), lumps, rods, AAS solution, granular, powder
Highly toxic, Not permitted in schools, toxic at low concentrations.
Cadmium metal is soft silver-white or blue-white colour, shiny metal, usually found combined with other elements, e.g. cadmium chloride,
cadmium oxide, cadmium sulfite.
As fine powder burns to release toxic fumes of cadmium oxide.
Cadmium can replace zinc in body proteins causing cadmium vapour poisoning, itai-itai bone-softening disease in Japan.
Cadmium is used in solders and electroplating.
Cadmium, blue-white, occurs in sphalerite, zinc sulfide, crystal deposits, zinc ores, resembles zinc, a rare element that occurs in the
mineral sphalerite, zinc sulfide, is used for cadmium plating against corrosion, in nuclear reactors and in films sensitive to ultraviolet light,
reference voltage in a Western Standard cadmium cell, Cd / Zn alloys in low melting point solders and aluminium solders, Ni-Cd
batteries (Nicad), phosphorescent coating of TV tubes.
The artist's paint, cadmium sulfide, can be green, yellow and orange.
Cadmium looks like zinc, but make a crackling sound like tin when bent.
Oysters in polluted water may accumulate cadmium.
In former Communist countries that practice of collection of "night soil" as a fertilizer, caused cadmium pollution of low-lying agricultural soil.
Cadmium is toxic because it competes with Zn and Ca and can deprive the body of zinc by binding with proteins instead of zinc.
Cadmium vapour is poisonous.
Large concentrations cause painful bone ailments and bone porosity in Japan, called itai-itai.
The human body gets rid of excess Cd by deposition in the kidneys and liver.
Atomic number: 48, Relative atomic mass: 112.41, r.d. 8.64, m.p. = 321oC, b.p. = 765oC.
Specific heat capacity: 230 J kg-1 K-1.
Reactions of chlorine: 12.19.8
Chlorine, Cl, chlorine gas Cl2, Chloride (chloro), Cl-, monodentate ligand (Greek khlōros green), Cl2, dichlorine,
Chlorine, Cl2, Highly toxic, granular, liquid, powder, tablets, highly irritant to lungs, chloride Cl-, chloro -Cl,
Solution < 3%, Highly toxic by all routes
Chlorine gas, < 3%, Not Hazardous if small volume in cross ventilation
For the reactions of chlorine with metals, solid non-metals, and hydrocarbons, use small quantities only.
Chlorine is a green-yellow, dense diatomic gas, soluble in water, alcohols, and alkalis, evaporates into the air very quickly.
Chlorine is a powerful oxidizing agent.
Chlorine can react to cause fires or explosions upon contact with turpentine, ether, ammonia gas, illuminating gas, hydrocarbon,
hydrogen gas and powdered metals.
Chlorine dissolves readily in water forming highly corrosive solutions.
Chlorine causes rapid corrosion of metals and destruction of plastics.
Chlorine directly combines with hydrogen gas in bright light or ignition of the mixture by lighted taper or electric spark.
Chlorine is a very reactive non-metal and free chlorine never occurs naturally.
Chlorine occurs in the minerals halite, sylvite, and carnallite and in 1.9% of sea water as chloride ions.
Chlorine is a poisonous, irritating smell gas at room temperature and pressure.
Chlorine is a powerful lung irritant, causing coughing and diminishing lung efficiency.
It attacks the mucous membrane linings of the eyes, nose, throat and lungs, causes the lungs to fill with fluid and the victim drowns.
Do not prepare chlorine in an open room, but use a fume cupboard for all reactions that may result in evolution of chlorine
Sodium chloride, a constituent of gastric juice, which is about 0.03 M HCl.
Adults require a daily minimum, of 750 mg of chloride
Chlorine gas was discovered in Sweden by Carl Wilhelm Scheele, 1742-1786, and identified as an element by Humphry Davy in 1810.
It was prepared by action of hydrochloric acid on manganese dioxide, "black oxide of manganese".
Chlorine is prepared commercially from electrolysis of concentrated sodium chlorine solution (brine).
Chlorine is used in a wide range of disinfecting and cleaning products, bleaching powder and bleaches of wood pulp, paper pulp, and
shrink- proofing of wool.
Chlorine kills most living things and is used to sterilize drinking water and disinfect swimming pools.
Chlorine was used as a poison gas in the First World War, as a chemical weapon.
Chlorine is used to manufacture PVC plastic and DDT (C6H4Cl)2CH-CCl3, insecticide
[Former name: dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane,
New IUPAC name: 1, 1, 1-trichloro-2, 2-bis (4-chlorophenyl)ethane].
Chlorine is used to prepare organic compounds, but many of these substances cannot be broken down in the environment (biodegraded),
so avoid using them.
Chlorofluorocarbon refrigerant, is an aerosol now phased out because of damage to the ozone layer in atmosphere
Chlorophenol red pH 4.8 to 6.4 indicator,
Chloral hydrate sedative,
Chloric (V) acid, HClO3 and its salts chlorates (V) powerful oxidizing agents, plastics,
Chlorinated lime is used for water purification, flame retardant compounds and batteries, metal fluxes, detinning and dezincing iron
swimming pool algicide.
Tetrachloroethene CCl2.CCl2, solvent
Tetrachloromethane (carbon tetrachloride), CCl4, solvent
Trichloromethane CHCl3, chloroform, anaesthetic
1, 1, 1-trichloroethane CH3CCH3, safer solvent
Atomic number: 17, Relative atomic mass: 35.453, r.d. 1.56 (238 K), m.p. = -101oC, b.p. = -34.7oC.
Specific heat capacity: 477 J kg-1 K-1.
Chromium, Cr (Greek khrōma colour, from coloured compounds),
white, hard, lustrous and brittle metal that is extremely resistant to
ordinary corrosive agents.
It is a reactive transition metal but forms protective oxide layer in
air that prevents further oxidation and forms hard alloys with Ni or Fe.
Chromium is available as technical grade chromium, is extracted from chromite
(Fe(CrO2)2) and is used for chromium plated metal,
hard plating Cr2O3, catalysts, in stainless and
heat resistant steel.
Strong reducing agent Cr2+ salts blue in aqueous solution,
Cr3+ salts green in aqueous solution.
CrO42- salts yellow, e.g. potassium chromate, K2CrO4,
and strong oxidizing agent Cr2O72-, orange,
e.g. potassium dichromate,
Chromium deficiency reduces tolerance to glucose.
Chromium, Cr, metal, AAS Standard, lumps, coating grit, chips, powder
Chromium-151, reactor-produced medical radioisotope, half-life 27.7 days,
used to label red blood cells
Chromium (II), Cr2+, strong reducing agent, blue salts in aqueous
Chromium (III), Cr3+, green salts in aqueous solution
Atomic number: 24, Relative atomic mass: 51.996, r.d. 7.19, m.p. = 1890oC,
b.p. = 2482oC.
Specific heat capacity: 448 J kg-1 K-1.
Cobalt, Co (German Kobalt demon, which interfered with silver
mining), cobalt ion Co2+, Cobalt (II) AAS Solution, pellets, powder.
Cobalt salts colour glass blue, plant and animal nutrition, trace element,
transition hard, grey metal, forms complex ions, e.g. [Co(H2O)6]2+,
magnetic below 1075oC, essential element but toxic in excess,
used in alloys radiography, magnets, steel.
Cobalt (II) oxide used to colour glass blue.
Occurs in the body only as cyanocobalamin, vitamin B12.
Cobalt (German: kobold, goblin of the mines), was associated by miners
with arsenic and sulfur health-damaging impurities.
Atomic number: 27, Relative atomic mass: 58.9332, r.d. 8.90, m.p. = 1492oC,
b.p. = 2900oC.
Specific heat capacity: 435 J kg-1 K-1
16.4.1.06 Vitamin B12.
Copper, Cu (Latin cuprum copper), copper (I) ion Cu+,
copper (II) ion Cu2+, electrical and thermal conductor, corrosion
diamagnetic, abundant free element
Copper, element (cuprum), copper (I) Cu+, copper (II) Cu2+
red, lustrous, but brown-green if weathered
Copper, essential element for human body for red blood cells and bone
growth, folk medicine (copper bracelet for arthritis?)
Copper, former English penny coin made of copper, discontinued in 1971
Copper sheeting, 900 mm width × 600 mm depth × 0.7 mm height, sheet
Copper, std (10.00 g Cu), ICP Solution, LR tablets, AAS Solution, precipitated
Copper, metal foil (0.13 mm), bronze powder (electrolytic), turnings,
nails, filings, wire, sheet, malleable
Copper wire, 18 SWG, bare, 1.22 mm diameter, 0.0418 Ohm / m
Copper wire connecting, PVC covered
Copper is a metallic element used for coin alloys, electrical wiring,
heating vessels, jewellery, roofing material for domes, conducting
electricity and lightning conductors.
It is the only red or red-brown metal.
Its alloys include brass (copper and zinc), bronze (copper and tin),
and in copper coins.
Copper, Cu (cuprum), is a bright red-orange, ductile, malleable and ductile
transition metal, with high electrical and thermal conductivity.
It is obtained form cuprite, Cu2S.
It is available as ingots, filings, foil, powder, turnings, nails, wire,
It becomes dull when exposed to air, and in moist air becomes coated
with verdis blue or green, basic copper carbonate.
It is an excellent conductor of heat.
It is extracted from cuprite (Cu2S), and malachite (basic copper
(II) carbonate, CuCO3.Cu(OH)2.H2O).
Aqueous copper ion, Cu2+ is blue.
Most Cu+ compounds are white, but copper (I) oxide is brick red.
It reacts with concentrated oxidizing acids, HNO3 or H2SO4
to produce high oxidation number ions, and sulfur dioxide SO2 or
No reaction with dilute HCl or H2SO4 or with water.
It can be attacked by mineral acids, e.g. hydrochloric and sulfuric acids
and organic acids, e.g. acetic acid.
It is soluble in dilute ammonia.
It is incompatible with alkali solutions, sodium azide and acetylene.
It reacts with strong oxidants, e.g. chlorates, bromates and iodates,
to cause an explosion hazard.
The heated powder forms an oxide.
Copper deficiency may occur in infants fed only on cow's milk.
Copper bracelets may alleviate, but not cure, arthritis.
A copper bowl may be preferable for beating cream.
Copper poisoning may occur from water standing for a long time in copper
pipes or copper hot water service.
It is a cofactor for many enzymes and proteins, and is used in the development
of nerve, bone, blood and connective tissue.
It competes with zinc for entry from the intestines, so an increase in
dietary zinc may result in copper deficiency.
The recommended daily allowance, RDA, is 1.5 to 3.0 mg.
Atomic number: 29, Relative atomic mass: 63.546, r.d. 8.92, m.p. = 1083oC,
b.p. = 2595oC.
Specific heat capacity: 385 J kg-1 K-1.
Fluorine, F (Latin fluere to flow), very reactive, halogen, pale
Fluorine is a naturally occurring element, in fluorspar, CaF2.
It is a yellow-green gas, strong, sharp odour (like pool chlorine),
combines with hydrogen to form hydrogen fluoride.
Fluorine gas can cause irritation, muscle spasms, harm the lungs and heart
and cause death.
It is a non-metal yellow-green poisonous gas at room temperature and pressure.
Fluorine is the most reactive corrosive and electronegative of all elements.
It never occurs as a free gas but it occurs in many silicate minerals
and the mineral fluorite, CaF2.
Fluorine is the most electronegative non-metallic element, strong oxidizing
Fluorine combines with carbon to form inert polymers, e.g. Teflon coated
frying pans, and form low friction fluorocarbon polymers,
Fluorine is used to make CFCs, chlorofluorocarbons, freon, that damages
the ozone layer.
Fluorine compounds are added to toothpaste and drinking water, e.g. tin
(II) fluoride, sodium monofluorophosphate (MFP), sodium
fluoride and amine fluorides.
In some countries, sodium fluoride is added to drinking water to improve
the hardness of tooth enamel apatite of children's teeth.
However, in other countries, this is not allowed because some people
believe that sodium fluoride is too reactive to be put into drinking
water and it may cause discoloration of teeth.
In Australia solid sodium silicofluoride is added to drinking water in
However, some natural water sources already contain the fluoride ion.
The enamel of teeth are formed from the crystalline mineral hydroxyapatite,
Helium, He (Greek Helios sun, emission line in sun spectrum), colourless,
odourless, lightest noble gas, low cost, from party supplies
shops (helium balloons)
Helium is a non-metal noble gas (inert gas), at room temperature and pressure.
Helium has no known compounds.
Helium has separate small molecules, 0.0005% of the air, superfluid at
2.2 K, lowest boiling point, obtained from natural gas wells,
used in diving gases, balloons (in party balloons, but these balloons
may travel over the oceans to fall and choke sea animals), welding.
Large concentration of helium can asphyxiate, change of pitch of voice
due to increased velocity of sound.
Helium has the lowest critical temperature, -268oC.
Packaging gas, propellant gas E939. vapour density 0.14 compared to air
Atomic number: 2, Relative atomic mass: 4.00260, r.d. 0.147(4 K), m.p.
= -270oC, b.p. = -269oC.
Specific heat capacity: 5.19 × 103 J kg-1 K-1
Hydrogen experiments: 3.41.0
Deuterium isotope: 3.6.1
Hydrogen, H (French hydrogène, Greek hudro water), is a
colourless odourless gas at room temperature and pressure H2,
element, burns to form water, most common element in space, natural isotopes
hydrogen and deuterium and manufactured isotope
radioactive tritium, product of electrolysis of water, used to fix nitrogen
and make ammonia in the Haber process, reduction of ore
oxides, manufacture of HCl, hydrogenation of oils, elemental gas in balloons
and possible potential use as hydrogen gas fuel in motor
Atomic number: 1, Relative atomic mass: 1.0079, r.d. 0.070 (20 K), m.p.
= -259oC, b.p. = -252oC.
Specific heat capacity: 1.43 × 104 J kg-1 K-1.
Iodine, I (Greek Iōdēs, violet colour), halogen, grey-black, violet
Iodine-131, reactor-produced medical radioistope, half-life 8.02 days, used to diagnose and treat thyroid diseases
Iodine, I, iodine solid, Toxic by all routes, High irritant vapour affects lungs.
Vapour density 9 compared to air, vapour pressure0.31 mmHg at 25oC.
Resistivity 1.3E15 μΩ-cm, bp 184C, mp 113 C.
Iodide (iodo), I-, monodentate ligand.
Iodine should not be used where food is being prepared.
Iodine, resublimed (COR 1759), iodine crystals, granules.
Iodine solid mixture, < 25%, Not hazardous.
Iodine solution, fixative, decolorized by sodium thiosulfate (hypo)
Iodine, I, I2, resublimed [COR 1759] is a non-metal forms
violet black solid poisonous scales with special smell, the least reactive of
the halogens, most common as iodides, insoluble in water, but dissolves
in ethanol and a solution containing I-, 1% in KI, because it
forms I3-, when heated sublimes to form vapour
that irritates the eyes, important for function of the thyroid gland, intense
is test for starch, extracted from unpurified Chile saltpetre and seaweed,
powerful disinfectant when dissolves in ethanol to form tincture
of iodine, as radioisotope Iodine-123 used in nuclear medicine, especially
thyroid gland disorders.
Strong oxidizing agent and antiseptic.
18.104.22.168.8 Polyvinyl pyrrolidene,
Iron, Fe (Old English īren ), metal, powder, coarse, ferrum reductum,
(reduced), nails, iron metal filings, iron metal shot, iron, foil, wire
1.0 mm, 0.5 mm, Fe, Iron, Fe, in ultra basic rocks, meteorites, Iron AAS
solution, iron cell test kit, iron ICP Solution
Iron alum, iron (III) ammonium sulfate, ferric ammonium sulfate (FAS),
Iron, Fe, natural iron, in ultrabasic rocks, meteorites.
Flammable powder (ferrum, ferrum reductum), as powder, iron nails, iron
wire, iron filings, steel wool, is a magnetic and strong
transition metal, 4.5% of the earth's crust, used for making iron and
steel and is the most commonly used metal, available as filings, iron
nails and wire, extracted from iron ores, e.g. haematite, Fe2O3,
reacts with dilute HCl or H2SO4 to form H2
and metal ion, reacts with
concentrated oxidizing acids, HNO3 or H2SO4
to produce high oxidation number ions, and sulfur dioxide SO2
or nitrogen dioxide,
NO2, reacts with steam to give the oxide and hydrogen gas.
Heated powder forms oxide.
The complex haemoglobin molecule has an iron atom in the centre.
During rusting, metallic ion changes to Fe(OH)3.xH2O.
Galvanized iron is Fe with Zn coating, e.g. "tin" roof.
Iron is used in the haemoglobin protein that carries oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood.
Pig iron is cast iron, 2-4.3% carbon.
Iron is a safe material, however, both iron filings and iron powder (ferrum reductum), are hazardous when mixed with either sulfur,
chlorine or bromine, because of the highly exothermic reactions that can occur.
Iron is made into steel by mixing it (alloying), with carbon (mild steel), or with metals, e.g. manganese (armour plating steel), chromium,
Atomic number: 26, Relative atomic mass: 55.847, r.d. 7.86, m.p. = 1535oC, b.p. = 3000oC.
Specific heat capacity: 448 J kg-1 K-1.
Krypton Table of Elements
Krypton, Kr (Greek kruptos hidden), non-metal, colourless, odourless, noble gas, at room temperature and pressure.
Kr2 extracted from liquid air, 0.0001% of the air, in photoionization detector (PID), lamps and mixed with other
inert gases in fluorescent lamps.
Krypton forms few compounds.
Atomic number: 36, Relative atomic mass: 83.80, r.d. 2.16 (121 K), m.p.= -157oC, b.p. = -152oC.
Specific heat capacity: 247 J kg-1 K-1.
Lead, Pb (plumbum) (Old English leād), metal foil 0.3 mm, powder, filings, strip, sheet, grain, lead AAS std, lead cell test kit,
(0.5-5 mg / L), lead shot, fishing sinkers, roof guttering, Harmful, chronic poison if long-term exposure from pipe work, pottery glazes,
Lead type (lead, tin, antimony alloy), invented by Johannes Gutenberg (1395-1468, Germany), first printed Bible using moveable lead
type, lead shot, fishing sinkers, roof guttering, foil, powder, filings, strip, is a soft, dense, and unreactive metal, available as lead foil,
powder and lead shot, extracted from the ore galena (PbS), used in fishing sinkers, solder, lead glazes and X-ray protective shields,
holds the pieces of glass together in stained glass windows, used in bullets, lead shot, building construction, lead cell accumulators,
pewter, bearings and alloys.
Formerly, ladies used lead carbonate to whiten their laces and some may have died from such use.
Reacts with concentrated oxidizing acids, HNO3 or H2SO4 to produce high oxidation number ions, and sulfur dioxide SO2
No reaction with dilute HCl or H2SO4 or with water.
Heated powder forms oxide.
Inorganic Pb2+ is an accumulated poison and can replace calcium in bone.
A "lead pencil" contains graphite, not lead.
Lead is a metal with a silvery appearance that is resistant to attack by acids because of the formation of a protective oxidized layer on
The metal melts at low temperature and is a good conductor of electricity, so it is used in solders.
The vapours of molten lead are extremely toxic and the effect of inhaling them is cumulative.
Lead salts are toxic by inhalation and can be absorbed through the skin, so should be handled with great care.
Wash laboratory areas where lead salts have been used with a dilute detergent solution to prevent exposure to any residual dust
Do not heat lead oxide on a charcoal block.
Lead is used in the production of batteries, ammunition, metal products (solder and pipes), and devices to shield X-rays.
Lead was present in petroleum, paints and ceramic products, caulking and pipe solder, however, because of health concerns,
it is now prohibited to include lead in these products.
Water pipes in some older buildings may contain lead solder.
Atomic number: 82, Relative atomic mass: 207.2, r.d. 11.3 g cm-3 m.p. = 327oC, b.p. = 1744oC.
Specific heat capacity: 130 J kg-1 K-1.
Lithium, Li (Greek lithos stone), lithium metal, lithium ribbon, lithium in paraffin liquid
Lithium is a least dense, soft and shiny surface when cut by knife then tarnishes, very reactive alkali metal with acids so stored under oil
because it reacts with air and water, but least reactive element in group I, red flame test colour, rare element found in some granite
pegmatite, used in Al and Mg alloys, batteries and anti-depressant medicines.
Lithium reacts with oxygen gas and water, and, on heating, it reacts with nitrogen and hydrogen gas.
Lithium carbonate is used for a craft flux.
Atomic number: 3, Relative atomic mass: 6.941, r.d. 0.53 g cm-3 m.p. = 180oC, b.p. = 1330oC.
Specific heat capacity: 3.39 × 103 J kg-1 K-1.
Molybdenum, Mo (Greek molubdaina fishing sinker, molubdos
lead, when Mo thought to be a lead salt)
Molybdenum-99, reactor-produced medical radioisotope, half-life 66 hours,
used as "parent" to form Technetium-99, silvery solid,
transition element, in molybdenite (MoS2), is not affected
by most acids, is used in steel alloys, in two enzyme systems xanthine oxidase
and aldehyde oxidase.
Hard water can provide some of the daily intake of molybdenum.
Nickel, Ni (German Kupfernickel, kupfer copper, nickel
naughty goblin who causes no copper in mineral)
Ni, powder is toxic by inhalation, especially for pregnant women, keep wet
to avoid ignition, Ni-Al alloy,
Nickel-iron cell, Edison cell, NIFE cell, secondary cell.
Nickel as foil, powder, is a transition metal that resists corrosion.
It is obtained from ores containing NiS and is available as sheet.
It is used in shiny coin alloys, nickel plating, and in "silver" cutlery
stamped "EPNS" (electroplated nickel silver), that has a shiny metal
It reacts with dilute HCl or H2SO4 to form H2
and metal ion and reacts with concentrated oxidizing acids,
HNO3 or H2SO4 to produce high oxidation
number ions, and sulfur dioxide SO2 or nitrogen dioxide, NO2.
It reacts with steam to give the oxide and hydrogen gas.
Heated powder forms oxide.
The "nickel" coin in the US is made of a nickel-copper alloy.
Atomic number: 28, Relative atomic mass: 58.69, r.d. 8.90 g cm-3|
m.p. = 1453oC, b.p. = 2730oC.
Specific heat capacity: 439 J kg-1 K-1.
Nitrogen, N (French nitrogène, Greek nitron nitre KNO3,
genos kind of)
Nitrogen, Liquid nitrogen (LN2, LIN, LN), UN number 1977, diatomic liquid
so N2 as in gas.
Nitrogen is a colourless, odourless, tasteless, neutral and unreactive
Nitrogen does not support combustion.
Magnesium and calcium will continue to burn in nitrogen to form nitrides.
Nitrogen is manufactured by fractional distillation of air.
Air contains about 78.8% of nitrogen.
Use eye and face protection when using compressed nitrogen gas.
Do not use in small enclosed spaces with limited ventilation.
Liquefied nitrogen gas can cause frostbite or cold "burns", so wear gloves
and eye / face protection
Nitrogen, is a non-metal gas at room temperature and pressure, forms
Nitrous oxide, N2O,
Nitric oxide, NO,
Nitrogen dioxide NO2 (dinitrogen tetroxide N2O4).
Atomic number: 7, Relative atomic mass: 14.0067, r.d. 0.808 (77 K), m.p.
= -210oC, b.p. = -196oC.
Specific heat capacity: 1.04 × 103 J kg-1 K-1.
Phosphorus, P (Greek phōsphoros, light-bringing), non-metal,
allotropes, white waxy solid, in minerals and organisms, occurs mainly
as phosphates and in many minerals, e.g. apatite.
Phosphorus has 2 main allotropes:
1. White phosphorus, yellow phosphorus, translucent white-yellow, very
reactive, poisonous, not permitted in schools
2. Red phosphorus, high m.p., low reactivity, low toxicity
Phosphorus-32, reactor-produced medical radioisotope, half-life 14.28 days,
used to treat excess red blood cells.
Phosphates are important agricultural fertilizers, e.g. NPK.
Phosphorus occurs as inorganic calcium phosphate in bones and teeth,
in tissue and in the ATP molecule, and in urine.
The recommended daily allowance, RDA, is 1200 mg.
Phosphoric acid, H3PO4, behaves as a tribasic acid
although the normal salts are much hydrolysed in solution.
Phosphorescence is the green glow from the slow oxidation of white phosphorus.
It is an example of chemiluminescence.
Palladium, Pd (Greek Pallas, Athene, goddess), white metal, hard
, ductile, similar to silver, used in jewellery and as catalyst, transition
metal, free element, formerly called "new silver", and used for contact
points for flintlock pistols, boiling vessels and crucibles.
Now used as foil, powder and wire, in low voltage electrical contacts,
and as palladium catalysts for organic chemical synthesis and
carbon bond forming reactions, e.g. C-C, C-O, C-N and C-F.
Lustrous silver-white metal.
Resistant to corrosion in air and acids, but is attacked by hot acids,
and dissolves in aqua regia.
It can absorb up to 900 times its own volume of hydrogen.
Used jewellery as "white gold" alloys with platinum.
It is now the main ingredient of catalytic converters reduce emissions
from car exhausts, replacing platinum.
Also used in wide screen televisions, computers and mobile phones, as
tiny multi-layer ceramic capacitors.
Atomic number 46, Atomic mass 106.42 g. mol-1, Density 11.9 g. cm-3 at 20oC,
Melting point 1560oC, 9 isotopes, Standard electrode potential + 0.85 V (Pd2+/ Pd ).
Platinum, Pt (Spanish plata silver, platinum has silvery colour),
platinum wire, 0.375 mm diameter, loop for inoculation of microbial
cultures, possibly sensitizes skin, powder
Platinum Group of Metals (PGMs), jewellery plating industry term for
"4 PGM's, platinum, rhodium, osmium, ruthenium, iridium"
Platinum (IV) chloride
Platinum (IV) oxide
Platinum is a soft, ductile transition metal, resists most chemical agents
and does not oxidize at high temperature, available as foil and
wire, occurs in free elemental form placer deposits or in alloys, used
for electrical contacts electrodes and jewellery.
No reaction with dilute HCl or H2SO4, air, water
or concentrated oxidizing acids, e.g. HNO3 or H2SO4,
reacts with aqua regia
(concentrated HNO3 + HCl), to form H2PtCl6.
Platinum is malleable, ductile and can be cut into slices.
It has a slightly grey lustre.
It is harder than gold and silver, so it is mixed with those metals when
making rings and other jewellery.
Platinum vessels can hold acids because they do not react with them.
Platinum was first used for decorative objects and jewellery settings,
but nowadays is used in scientific apparatus, electrical equipment,
electrodes and resistance thermometry and many industrial processes as
It has weak magnetism.
Platinum black is used as a catalyst in chemical reactions.
Platinum can absorb hydrogen and is used in catalytic converters to treat
exhaust gases of motor vehicles.
The melting point of platinum is 1768oC, higher than gold, bronze
It was used to cast the platinum-iridium cylinder called the International
Prototype Kilogram (IPK), in France because of its high
density and resistance to corrosion.
A "platinum" record has sold one million copies.
Atomic number: 78, Relative atomic mass: 195.08, r.d. 21.4, m.p. = 1769oC,
b.p. = 4530oC.
Specific heat capacity: 134 J kg-1 K-1.
Selenium, Se (Greek selēnē moon), powder, AAS solution.
Selenium, powder, Highly toxic by all routes,
do not inhale, do not touch fine particles.
Selenium, essential trace element, with vitamin E an antioxidant, nutrient
of nervous system, food supplement grow yeast on selenium.
Selenic acid, H2SeO4, alkaloid reagent, oxidizing
Selenium dioxide with water --> selenious acid, H2SeO3
Selenium dioxide, SeO2, colourless solid, most common selenium
compound, Highly toxic by all routes, slightly volatile, avoid inhaling
fine particles, to avoid toxic vapour do not heat.
Selenium disulfide, SeS2, called "selenium disulfide", antifungal
agent in dandruff shampoo
Selenium hexasulfide, Se2S6, oxidizing agent
Hydrogen selenide, H2Se, colourless gas, irritating horrible
Selenium, Se, is a non-metal, obtained from sulfide ores, decolorizes
glass, semiconductor that conducts electricity when an EMF is
applied, used in photoelectric cells and light meters.
Similar properties: to sulfur.
The Kjeldahl catalyst is sodium sulfate + selenium.
Selenium is a trace mineral used to destroy hydrogen peroxide.
The recommended daily allowance, RDA, is 70 g for males, and 55 g for
The Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa), is one of the best sources
of selenium, an antioxidant that strengthens the immune system.
Atomic number: 34, Relative atomic mass: 78.96, r.d. 4.81, m.p. = 217oC,
b.p. = 685oC.
Specific heat capacity: 322 J kg-1 K-1.
Silicon, Si (Latin silic hard stone), metalloid, lumps, AAS solution,
Silicon oil 200 Fluid 350 CS.
Fine particles are toxic if inhaled
Silicon powder, lump, granules, burns in air if ignited, violently combustible
with oxidizing agents.
Silicon, Si, lump [powder] is a non-metal network solid with many properties:
similar to carbon, occurs naturally as a brown powder
or grey crystals, 28% of the earth's crust, forms a network solid similar
to diamond and has valence 4, the second most abundant
element mainly in silicates in rocks, prepared by reduction of silica
SiO2 in an electric furnace, used as a semiconductor, conductivity
can be increased by increasing its temperature or by adding small quantities
of boron or phosphorus (doping).
The common form of silicon dioxide is silica, SiO2 as in quartz.
A major component of rocks is the silicate ion, SiO44-,
as in glass.
Silicone greases have a polymer network of silicon and oxygen atoms attached
to C and H atoms.
Atomic number: 14, Relative atomic mass: 28.0855, r.d. 2.33, m.p. = 1410oC,
b.p. = 2360oC.
Specific heat capacity: 711 J kg-1 K-1.
Silver, Ag (Old English siolfor) (Latin: argentum, Ag),
metal, sheet 30 SWG, strip, sheet, wire, fumes and dust are a heavy metal
Silver, Ag, is a silver white transition metal, does not oxidize in air
and is the best electrical conductor, available as silver wire, occurs
as the element and is used in coin alloys, electrical conductors, photographic
emulsions, jewellery and ornaments.
Silver has low melting point and high malleability, so it is easy to cast
and cold forge.
It has almost 100% reflectivity for most of the spectrum except in the
violet, so slight yellow tinge.
Reacts with concentrated oxidizing acids, HNO3 or H2SO4
to produce high oxidation number ions, and sulfur dioxide SO2
dioxide, NO2, reacts with concentrated HNO3 and
hot concentrated H2SO4.
No reaction with dilute HCl or H2SO4, air, or water.
Silver ions and silver compounds have toxic effects on some bacteria,
viruses, algae and fungi, as with heavy metals but without their
toxicity, so silver was reputed to "sterilize" water.
Formerly, water was kept in silver containers and silver coins were supposed
to stop milk spoiling.
Silver has been used to cure smelly socks.
Excess silver can turn the skin blue, argyria.
The "silver paper" used in wrapping paper or in chocolates is usually
Solid silver can be polished to be highly reflective, but silver nanoparticles
form a black substance, e.g. in old photographic negatives.
Atomic number: 47, Relative atomic mass: 107.868, r.d. 10.5, m.p. = 961oC,
b.p. = 2210oC.
Specific heat capacity: 234 J kg-1 K-1.
Strontium, Sr (former Strontia region, Scotland, where Strontium
first found), alkaline earth metal, AAS solution.
Toxic if ingested, surface layer corrosive to skin and eyes.
Strontium with water forms hydrogen gas that may explode if mixed with
Strontium, do not mix with sulfur or phosphorus because of dangerous
Strontium, Sr, silver white metallic element, in minerals celestine (SrSO4),
strontianite (SrCO3), and spring water, similar properties to
calcium, salts used for crimson flame in fireworks, after nuclear explosion
fallout contains 90Sr that can be absorbed in human bone,
strontium chloride in toothpaste for sensitive teeth, e.g. "Sensodyne",
harder to cut than sodium, use calcium as cheaper alternative,
purchase only small quantity and store in tightly-sealed container, give
students only few grains per activity
Atomic number: 38, Relative atomic mass: 87.62, r.d. 2.54, m.p. = 800oC,
b.p. = 1300oC.
Specific heat capacity: 0.3 J kg-1 K-1.
22.214.171.124 Sulfur, S
Sulfur, S (Latin sulfur), brimstone, bright yellow powder, sublimed
sulfur, flowers of sulfur, roll sulfur, brimstone (rhombic and
monoclinic forms), sulfur sticks, roll sulfur, is a non-metal occurs
as S8 molecule rings.
Sulfur is insoluble in water, slightly soluble in ethanol, and soluble
Above 160oC, the S8 molecule rings break to form long chains
of plastic sulfur, polymeric sulfur, that is not soluble in any solvents.
Sulfur is not toxic, but can be dangerous because of its flammability
and hazardous because of the formation of sulfur dioxide gas as a
product of combustion.
Sulfur is used as example of a non-metal element.
Brimstone is the word for sulfur in the King James version of the Bible:
Genesis 19:24, "Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and
Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;"
Formerly, children were give "brimstone and treacle", as a regular medicine,
sulfur deficiency does not occur in humans.
Sulfur is in external medicines to treat skin problems.
Sulfur is in hair, nails, and skin.
Liver of sulfur, K2S, potassium sulfide, alkaline mixture of mainly potassium
polysulfides that turns silver black.
Low cost: garden supply stores as fertilizer, fungicide, soil additive,
The main allotropes of sulfur are as follows:
1. α sulfur, rhombic sulfur, with yellow octahedral crystals,
2. β sulfur with monoclinic prismatic pale yellow crystals.
Do not mix sulfur with oxidizing agents, e.g. potassium nitrate or potassium
permanganate, or mercury (II) oxide, because the mixtures
Do not prepare mixtures of sulfur with active metal powders, e.g. aluminium
and magnesium, because they are also violently reactive.
Sulfur usually ignites when it is heated, forming sulfur dioxide gas,
which is highly irritant to the lungs and should not be inhaled.
Use a fume cupboard for experiments that produce sulfur dioxide.
Some asthmatics are particularly sensitive to sulfur dioxide.
Atomic number: 16, Relative atomic mass: 32.06, r.d. 2.07 (α), 1.96 (β),
m.p. = 113oC (α) 119oC (β), b.p. = 445oC (α),
Specific heat capacity: 0.71.
Titanium, Ti (Greek titan god), transition metal, clays and minerals
Titanium dioxide, TiO2, brookite mineral
Titanium tetrachloride, Toxic by all routes.
Titanium tetrachloride with water forms hydrogen chloride gas and titanium
Titanium tetrachloride bottles may be under pressure because of formation
of hydrogen chloride
Tantanite, calcium titanium silicate, source of titanium and jewel stone,
absorbs ultra-violet light so used to prevent sunburn
Tantanite, titanium silicate, source of titanium, jewel stone
Titanium sun glass rims
Titanium Ion Bands, Oregon Scientific "negative ion bracelet", pseudo
Titanium ore was discovered in 1791, but pure titanium not produced until
Titanium is strong, lustrous, silver colour, low density.
It is resistant to sea water corrosion, aqua regia and chlorine.
It can be welded with lasers but not soldered.
Titanium used in aeroplane framework and turbine blades of turbojet engines,
bicycles, cars, jewellery and craft ware, walls of
Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.
Titanium turnings are very hard sensitive to friction, and used for silver
sparks in fireworks
Titanium is a chemical element with the symbol Ti and atomic number 22.
It is a lustrous transition metal with a silver colour, low density and
It is highly resistant to corrosion in sea water, aqua regia and chlorine.
Atomic number: 22, Relative atomic mass: 47.867, r.d. 4.5
Specific heat capacity 54 J kg-1 K-1.
Tungsten, W (formerly wolfram) (Swedish tung heavy sten
stone), white-grey metal, dense, transition element, heat-resistant,
tungsten carbine used for very hard metal alloys, steels, jewellery,
fluorescent lighting, weights and counterbalances, light bulb filaments,
vacuum tube filaments, heating elements, electrodes.
Tungsten, highest m.p., so in electric filaments and steel alloys.
Tungsten sulfite in high temperature lubricants.
Available as tungsten wire.
Tungsten is from wolframite (MnFe)WO4, scheelite CaWO4.
Tungsten is not affected by dilute acids, used in steels and lamp
filaments, tungsten carbide, WC, black powder, used in cutting tools
because has Mohs' scale 9.5.
The tungsten filament in a light bulb reaches about 2, 300oC.
It has the highest melting point of all metals.
Tungsten alloy, high density 15.4-18.5 g / cc (80-97W), with components
of W-Ni-Cu, W-Ni-Fe or W-Ni-Cu-Fe for different
applications of radiation shielding, crankshaft counterbalance for automobiles,
defence applications of kinetic energy penetration,
counterbalance for racing car, yacht, aircraft, sports fittings parts,
e.g. golf, fishing weights and sinkers, counterbalance in oil exploration,
Atomic number: 74, Relative atomic mass: 183.85, r.d. 19.3, m.p. = 3, 422oC,
b.p. = 5, 660oC.
Specific heat capacity: 130 J kg-1 K-1.
Uranium, U (Uranus planet, Greek god Ouranos), radioactive actinide,
hard grey metal from pitchblende and other ores.
Uranium metal and ores are Toxic if ingested, weakly radioactive, avoid
direct contact by using disposable gloves.
Keep only small samples of uranium and its ores in demonstration containers.
Uranium, U, is a obtained from pitchblende U3O8,
238U main isotope, 235U used as fuel in nuclear power
stations, weapons fissile
substances and atomic bombs.
Atomic number: 92, Relative atomic mass: 238.029, r.d. 19.1, m.p. = 1130oC,
b.p. = 3820oC.
Specific heat capacity: 117 J kg-1 K-1.
Xenon Table of Elements
Xenon, Xe (Greek xenos foreign, stranger), colourless, odourless,
non-metal noble gas at room temperature and pressure, 0.00001%
of the atmosphere.
Xenon in lasers, fluorescent lamps
Xenic acid, xenon trioxide solution
Atomic number: 54, Relative atomic mass: 131.29, r.d. 3.52(165 K), m.p.
= -112oC, b.p. = -108oC.
Specific heat capacity: 159 J kg-1 K-1.
Zinc, Zn (German zink), hard, lustrous, blue-white metal that
forms protective oxide layer in air preventing further oxidation.
Zinc is available as zinc metal mossy, zinc dust (FLAM), zinc filings
(FLAM), zinc powder (FLAM), zinc foil, zinc strip, AAS standard
solution, granulated (arsenic free), dry cell battery case, zinc blocks
from electronics supply shops for anodes, building supplies shops
may sell zinc sheets for roof flashing
Zinc dust is dangerous as a fine powder and it is not permitted in schools.
It is highly flammable, ignites on heating, forms explosive mixtures
with S, Br2, I2, explosive if finely dispersed in
air, Toxic if inhaled.
Zinc dust, that is flammable and has been used in the past to make rocket
fuel by mixing it with finely-divided sulfur.
Zinc dust is highly flammable.
Zinc dust, ignites on heating, explosive mixtures with S, Br2,
I2, explosive if finely dispersed in air, Toxic if inhaled.
Zinc / sulfur mixtures are extremely hazardous materials, liable to combust
violently on ignition and release large amounts of sulfur dioxide
from oxidation of unreacted sulfur.
Zinc dust forms hazardous mixtures with iodine and many oxidizing agents,
e.g. manganese dioxide, potassium nitrate and potassium
Use zinc powder, or granulated zinc, foil or low cost casing of unused
zinc-carbon battery (99%+ zinc), for experiments on
electrochemical cells, reactivity of metals, displacement reactions,
form hydrogen with dilute acids, Daniell cell, surface layer of
galvanized iron sheets to prevent the iron from rusting.
Zinc is used as foil in a dry cell battery casings, alloys and brass,
as a micro nutrient (trace element), required in a very small quantity by
living organisms as salts or compounds, not as the pure element.
Zinc anodes for electroplating industry, increase life of high carbon
steel fishing hooks.
Zinc anode nuts to protect underground and submerged threads.
Time release anodes to release fishing pots.
Zinc string and zinc ribbon to protect double bottom tanks of ships,
mooring chains, underground storage tanks and pipelines.
Zinc G-clamps and I-bolts to attach anode to structures.
Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc.
Hydrozincite, Zn[(OH)3CO3], zinc bloom
US cent coins minted in 1983, zinc + thin copper plating
Zinc is extracted from zinc blende (sphalerite, ZnS)
Zinc reacts with dilute HCl or H2SO4 to form H2
and metal ion, reacts with concentrated oxidizing acids, HNO3
or H2SO4 to produce
high oxidation number ions, and sulfur dioxide SO2 or nitrogen
dioxide, NO2, reacts with steam to give the oxide and hydrogen gas.
Heated powder forms oxide.
High level of zinc in the diet is undesirable, e.g. from oysters.
Zinc deficiency symptoms occur where people live on unleavened bread
made from highly extracted wheat flour and no meat or yeast
products in the diet.
Zinc is a cofactor for about 20 enzymes, e.g. alcohol dehydrogenase
that breaks down ethanol and carboxypeptidase that catalyses
the hydrolysis of proteins in the small intestine.
The recommended daily allowance, RDA, is 15 mg for males and 12 mg for
Atomic number: 30, Relative atomic mass: 65.39, r.d. 7.14, m.p. = 420oC,
b.p. = 907oC.
Specific heat capacity: 385 J kg-1 K-1.
7.2.2a Elements experiment
Describe each example.
1. Note the state of matter at room temperature, solid, liquid or gas.
2. Note whether the solid has a shiny surface or has a lustre when the
surface is clean.
3. Note whether the metal can be bent or twisted with pliers, or whether
4. Note whether the element conducts electricity when held between two
alligator clips as electrical contacts.
5. Put a piece of the element on a combustion spoon and set it alight
with a burner flame.
Observe the burning element.
6. Shake the products of the combustion in a test-tube containing water.