|Name: strontium||Group number: 2|
|Symbol: Sr||Group name: Alkaline earth metal|
|Atomic number: 38||Period number: 5|
|Atomic weight: 87.62 (1) g r||Block: s-block|
|CAS Registry ID: 7440-24-6||Voice: |
|Standard state: solid at 298 K||Colour: silvery white|
|Classification: Metallic||Availability: |
This sample is from The Elements Collection, an attractive and safely packaged collection of the 92 naturally occurring elements that is available for sale.
Strontium does not occur as the free element. Strontium is softer than calcium and decomposes water more vigorously. Freshly cut strontium has a silvery appearance, but rapidly turns a yellowish colour with the formation of the oxide. The finely divided metal ignites spontaneously in air. Volatile strontium salts impart an excellent crimson colour to flames, and these salts are used in pyrotechnics.
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|The picture above shows the result of adding different metal salts to a burning reaction mixture of potassium chlorate and sucrose. The red colour originates from strontium sulphate. The orange/yellow colour originates from sodium chloride. The green colour originates from barium chlorate. The blue colour originates from copper (I) chloride. The lilac colour that should be evident from the potassium chlorate is washed out by the other colours, all of which are more intense. Do not attempt this reaction unless are a professionally qualified chemist and you have carried out a legally satisfactory hazard assessment. Improperly done, this reaction is dangerous! Select a movie icon to see flame burning in from right to left.|
The picture above shows the colour arising from adding strontium sulphate salt (SrSO4) to a burning mixture of potassium chlorate and sucrose. Do not attempt this reaction unless are a professionally qualified chemist and you have carried out a legally satisfactory hazard assessment.
Strontium-90 (90Sr) has a half-life of 28 years. It is a product of nuclear fallout and presents a major health problem. Strontium titanate is an interesting optical material as it has an extremely high refractive index and an optical dispersion greater than that of diamond. It has been used as a gemstone, but it is very soft.
IsolationHere is a brief summary of the isolation of strontium.
Strontium metal is available commercially and there is no need to make it in the laboratory. Commercially it is made on small scale by the electrolysis of molten strontium chloride, SrCl2.
cathode: Sr2+(l) + 2e- Sranode: Cl-(l) 1/2Cl2 (g) + e-
Strontium metal can also be islated from the reduction of strontium oxide, SrO, with aluminium.
6SrO + 2Al 3Sr + Sr3Al2O6