|Name: antimony||Group number: 15|
|Symbol: Sb||Group name: Pnictogen|
|Atomic number: 51||Period number: 5|
|Atomic weight: 121.760 (1) g||Block: p-block|
|CAS Registry ID: 7440-36-0||Voice: |
|Standard state: solid at 298 K||Colour: silvery lustrous grey|
|Classification: Semi-metallic||Availability: |
Image adapted with permission from Prof James Marshall"s (U. North Texas, USA) Walking Tour of the elements CD.
Metallic antimony is an extremely brittle metal of a flaky, crystalline texture. It is bluish white and has a metallic lustre. It is not acted on by air at room temperature, but burns brilliantly when heated with the formation of white fumes. It is a poor conductor of heat and electricity.
Antimony and its compounds are toxic. It is found mostly with other minerals and in stibnite.
Nearing Zero cartoon included by kind permission of Nick Kim.
IsolationHere is a brief summary of the isolation of antimony.
It is not usually necessary to make antimony in the laboratory as it is commercially available. Antimony is found in nature in a number of minerals including stibnite (Sb2S3) and ullmanite (NiSbS). Small amounts of native antimony have been found. Some ores are treatable under reducing conditions to form Sb2S3. The sulphide is removed to leave elemental antimony with scrap iron.
Sb2S3 + 3Fe 2Sb + 3FeS
In antehr process, some ores can be heated to evolve the oxide Sb2O3 and this in turn can be reduced by charcoal in the presence of sodium sulphate, to ensure mixing, to form elemental antimony.
2Sb2O3 +3C 4Sb + 3CO2