Bismuth | Properties | Uses | and Facts - Elements and Compounds


Saturday, April 29, 2023

Bismuth | Properties | Uses | and Facts

Properties Uses and Facts about Bismuth

    What is Bismuth

    Bismuth is a metal, it is classified as an Other Metal, and chemically it is an element. The density of bismuth is 9.8 grams per cubic centimeter. Its atomic weight is 208.98 AMU, atomic number 83 and symbol Bi. Its atom has 83 electrons, 83 protons, 126 neutrons and 6 energy levels. Bismuth is located in group 15, period 6 and block P in the Periodic Table. Bismuth is found in solid state at room temperature. The melting point of bismuth is 271.4 °C (520.52 °F) and its boiling point is 1564 °C (2847 °F).

    Bismuth metal has been used since ancient times, so it is unknown who discovered it.

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    Bismuth Properties Uses and Facts

    Properties of Bismuth

    • Bismuth is a silvery-white lustrous metal with a slight pink tinge.
    • Bismuth is a brittle metal, it breaks easily, so other metals are added to it to make it useful.
    • Bismuth is the most diamagnetic metal. Due to the diamagnetic property, a material starts generating its own magnetic field to resist the source of another magnetic field.
    • Bismuth has the lowest thermal conductivity of all metals after mercury.
    • Bismuth has the highest electrical resistance and the highest Hall effect of any metal. The electrical resistance of a substance increases when it is placed in a magnetic field due to the Hall effect.
    • All the salts of bismuth form an insoluble compound when added to water.
    • Bismuth expands when it changes from liquid to solid, that is, its volume increases.
    • Bismuth reacts slowly with oxygen at room temperature, forming a pink or yellow layer of bismuth oxide (Bi2O3) over it.
    • Bismuth reacts with almost all acids.

    Uses of Bismuth

    • Bismuth is used to combine it with other metals to form alloys, usually with lead, tin, cadmium, and iron.
    • Some of the alloys made by mixing bismuth with tin or cadmium have a melting point lower than the boiling point of water. Hence they are used in fire sprinkler systems, safety plugs for fuel tanks, electrical fuses and solders.
    • Bismuth oxide (Bi2O3) is used as a yellow pigment in cosmetics and paints.
    • Bismuth oxychloride (BiOCl) is used to make a pigment called bismuth-white.
    • Bismuth carbonate (Bi2(CO3)3) is used in the treatment of dyspepsia and diarrhoea.
    • Some compounds of bismuth are used as catalysts in the production of acrylonitrile (C3H3N). Acrylonitrile is used as a raw material in the production of synthetic fibers and rubber.
    • Liquid bismuth is used in nuclear power generation as a fuel carrier and coolant.
    • Tin metal turns into gray-tin at temperatures below 13.2 °C, to prevent this change tin is mixed with a small amount of bismuth or antimony.
    • Bismuth is not as toxic as lead metal, so nowadays Bismuth is being used as a substitute for lead in many applications like plumbing, paints etc.

    Interesting Facts about Bismuth

    • Bismuth is the 71st most abundant element in the Earth's crust.
    • Most bismuth is produced as a by-product from ores of copper, tin, gold and silver.
    • Bismuthite and bismite are the most important ores of bismuth.
    • Most of the bismuth is produced in the world in China.

    Detailed Information on Some other Elements

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