|Name: thallium||Group number: 13|
|Symbol: Tl||Group name: (none)|
|Atomic number: 81||Period number: 6|
|Atomic weight: 204.3833 (2)||Block: p-block|
|CAS Registry ID: 7440-28-0||Voice: |
|Standard state: solid at 298 K||Colour: silvery white|
|Classification: Metallic||Availability: |
When freshly exposed to air, thallium exhibits a metallic lustre, but soon develops a bluish-grey tinge, resembling lead in appearance. A heavy oxide builds up on thallium if left in air, and in the presence of water the hydroxide is formed. The metal is very soft and malleable. It can be cut with a knife.
The element and its compounds are toxic and should be handled carefully. Thallium may cause cancer.
Nearing Zero cartoon included by kind permission of Nick Kim.
IsolationHere is a brief summary of the isolation of thallium.
Thallium metal would not normally be made in the laboratory as it is available commercially. Crude thallium is present as a component in flue dust along with arsenic, cadmium, indium, germanium, lead, nickel, selenium, tellurium, and zinc. This is done by dissolving in dilute acid, precipitating out lead sulphate, and then adding HCl to precipitate thallium chloride, TlCl. Further purification can be achieve by electrolysis of soluble thallium salts.