The Mineral Antimony

antimony picture

antimony picture

The symbol of the chemical element Antimony is Sb (obtained from the Latin word stibium) and its atomic no. is 51. Antimony is a Lustrous Gray Metalloid. In nature., you will find it mainly in the form of a sulfide mineral. S Antimony is a compound of various elements, known from the primitive age and was utilized in the field of cosmetics; even though metallic antimony too was identified; it was mistaken for lead. Initially, it was secluded by Vannoccio Biringuccio and in the year 1540 it was taken into consideration. Antimony belongs to the nitrogen family (group 15) its electronegativity is 2.05. According to the periodic table, the electronegativity of bismuth and tin is lesser than Antimony and Antimony are lesser than that of arsenic or tellurium. At room temperature Antimony remains stable and when heated it combines with oxygen in the air to form antimony trioxide.

Derivation of Name

Antimony is a combination of two Greek words, ‘anti’ meaning opposed and ‘monos’ meaning solitude.

Occurrence

The mineral Antimony is said to occur in waters, soils and in air in tiny quantities. Antimony is found in small quantities of more than 100 varieties and not in bulk quantities. Antimony occurs as an indigenous metal, but generally you find it the form of antimony (III) sulfide. It is from this that antimony is taken out for trading purposes by roasting antimony (III) sulfide to oxidize it and further reduction is done by combining it with either iron or carbon.

antimony picture

antimony picture

Gemology

This metal is not used as a gemstone.

Source

Antimony and its compounds were produced in bulk quantities by the Chinese for quite some time, with the majority of the produce obtained from the Xikuangshan Mine in Hunan. In industry, antimony is produced by initially roasting it followed by reduction through carbothermal process or by straight reduction of Stibnite along with iron

Mineralogy

Metallic antimony is used to a great extent as an alloying material for tin and lead and in lead acid batteries for making lead antimony plates. Antimony as an alloy of tin and lead enhances the properties of the alloys when used as bullets, solders and ordinary bearings. The compounds of antimony are important additives to bromine and chlorine in fire retardants, which are seen in several domestic and commercial products. Of late Antimony is used in the application of microelectronics.

Color

It is a lustrous metal with silver and gray color.

Density 

6.697 g·cm−3

Mohs scale hardness

Antimony is a lustrous is a silvery gray metal having a Mohs scale hardness of 3.

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