chemical element with symbol Pb and atomic number 82

Lead (pronounce: "/'lɛd/") is a chemical element. Its chemical symbol is Pb, which comes from plumbum, the Latin word for lead.[6] Its atomic number is 82, atomic mass is 207.2 and has a melting point of 327.8°C. It is a very poisonous and heavy metal, and is also the ending element to the stable elements, although the next element, bismuth, is so weakly radioactive that it can be considered stable for practical purposes.[7]

Lead, 00Pb
A small gray metal cube surrounded by three gray metal nuggets in front of a light gray background
Pronunciation/ˈlɛd/ (led)
Appearancemetallic gray
Standard atomic weight Ar°(Pb)
Lead in the periodic table
Hydrogen Helium
Lithium Beryllium Boron Carbon Nitrogen Oxygen Fluorine Neon
Sodium Magnesium Aluminium Silicon Phosphorus Sulfur Chlorine Argon
Potassium Calcium Scandium Titanium Vanadium Chromium Manganese Iron Cobalt Nickel Copper Zinc Gallium Germanium Arsenic Selenium Bromine Krypton
Rubidium Strontium Yttrium Zirconium Niobium Molybdenum Technetium Ruthenium Rhodium Palladium Silver Cadmium Indium Tin Antimony Tellurium Iodine Xenon
Caesium Barium Lanthanum Cerium Praseodymium Neodymium Promethium Samarium Europium Gadolinium Terbium Dysprosium Holmium Erbium Thulium Ytterbium Lutetium Hafnium Tantalum Tungsten Rhenium Osmium Iridium Platinum Gold Mercury (element) Thallium Lead Bismuth Polonium Astatine Radon
Francium Radium Actinium Thorium Protactinium Uranium Neptunium Plutonium Americium Curium Berkelium Californium Einsteinium Fermium Mendelevium Nobelium Lawrencium Rutherfordium Dubnium Seaborgium Bohrium Hassium Meitnerium Darmstadtium Roentgenium Copernicium Nihonium Flerovium Moscovium Livermorium Tennessine Oganesson


Groupgroup 14 (carbon group)
Periodperiod 6
Block  p-block
Electron configuration[Xe] 4f14 5d10 6s2 6p2
Electrons per shell2, 8, 18, 32, 18, 4
Physical properties
Phase at STPsolid
Melting point600.61 K ​(327.46 °C, ​621.43 °F)
Boiling point2022 K ​(1749 °C, ​3180 °F)
Density (near r.t.)11.34 g/cm3
when liquid (at m.p.)10.66 g/cm3
Heat of fusion4.77 kJ/mol
Heat of vaporization179.5 kJ/mol
Molar heat capacity26.650 J/(mol·K)
Vapor pressure
P (Pa) 1 10 100 1 k 10 k 100 k
at T (K) 978 1088 1229 1412 1660 2027
Atomic properties
Oxidation states−4, −2, −1, 0,[2] +1, +2, +3, +4 (an amphoteric oxide)
ElectronegativityPauling scale: 1.87 (+2)
Ionization energies
  • 1st: 715.6 kJ/mol
  • 2nd: 1450.5 kJ/mol
  • 3rd: 3081.5 kJ/mol
Atomic radiusempirical: 175 pm
Covalent radius146±5 pm
Van der Waals radius202 pm
Color lines in a spectral range
Spectral lines of lead
Other properties
Natural occurrenceprimordial
Crystal structureface-centered cubic (fcc)
Face-centered cubic crystal structure for lead
Speed of sound thin rod1190 m/s (at r.t.) (annealed)
Thermal expansion28.9 µm/(m⋅K) (at 25 °C)
Thermal conductivity35.3 W/(m⋅K)
Electrical resistivity208 nΩ⋅m (at 20 °C)
Magnetic orderingdiamagnetic
Molar magnetic susceptibility−23.0×10−6 cm3/mol (at 298 K)[3]
Young's modulus16 GPa
Shear modulus5.6 GPa
Bulk modulus46 GPa
Poisson ratio0.44
Mohs hardness1.5
Brinell hardness38–50 MPa
CAS Number7439-92-1
Discoveryin the Middle East (7000 BCE)
Symbol"Pb": from Latin plumbum
Isotopes of lead
Main isotopes[4] Decay
abun­dance half-life (t1/2) mode pro­duct
202Pb synth 5.25×104 y ε 202Tl
204Pb 1.40% stable
205Pb trace 1.73×107 y ε 205Tl
206Pb 24.1% stable
207Pb 22.1% stable
208Pb 52.4% stable
209Pb trace 3.253 h β 209Bi
210Pb trace 22.20 y β 210Bi
211Pb trace 36.1 min β 211Bi
212Pb trace 10.64 h β 212Bi
214Pb trace 26.8 min β 214Bi
Isotopic abundances vary greatly by sample[5]
 Category: Lead
| references

Properties change

Physical properties change

Lead powder burning

Lead is a shiny, gray-blue poor metal. It gets tarnished easily to a dull gray color. It is soft and malleable. It is very shiny when it is melted. It is very heavy. It is very corrosion-resistant. It is made stronger by adding antimony or calcium. It can form an alloy with sodium. It is toxic to people and animals when swallowed.

Chemical properties change

Flame test for lead

Lead burns in air with a grayish-white flame, making toxic fumes of lead(II) oxide. Only the surface is corroded by air. It dissolves in nitric acid to make lead(II) nitrate. It does not dissolve in sulfuric or hydrochloric acid. It reacts with sodium nitrate to make lead(II) oxide and sodium nitrite. It reacts with chlorine to make lead(II) chloride. Lead(II) oxide reacts with lead sulfide to make lead metal and sulfur dioxide.

Chemical compounds change

Lead makes chemical compounds in two main oxidation states: +2 and +4. +2 compounds, also known as lead(II) compounds or plumbous compounds, are weak oxidizing agents. +4 compounds, also known as lead(IV) compounds or plumbic compounds, are strong oxidizing agents. Lead compounds are toxic just like the element. The lead halides do not dissolve in water. Lead(IV) oxide is the most common lead(IV) compound. It is a black solid. The lead oxides are all colored, while the other salts are white or colorless. Lead nitrate and lead(II) acetate are the soluble compounds of lead.

+2 compounds

This state is more common than the +4 state. These are weak oxidizing agents. All but the oxides are colorless or white.

Mixed oxidation state compounds

Mixed oxidation state compounds contain lead in the +2 and +4 oxidation state.

+4 compounds

These are less common. They are strong oxidizing agents.

Occurrence change

Lead is found very rarely in the earth's crust as a metal. Normally, lead is in the mineral galena. Galena is lead sulfide. Galena is the main lead ore.

History change

Lead was used for thousands of years because it is easy to get from the ground and easy to shape and work with. The Romans used lead very commonly. They used it for pipes, drinking vessels, and fasteners.

Preparation change

Lead is made from galena. Galena is made pure by froth flotation to get all the impurities out. Then the lead sulfide is roasted in a furnace to make lead(II) oxide. The lead(II) oxide is heated with coke to make liquid lead metal.

Uses change

As an element change

The dark bricks are made of lead. They are meant to keep people safe from the radioactive material inside.

Lead is used in the ballast of sailboats. It is also used in weight belts for scuba diving. It is also used to make shotgun pellets and bullets for small arms. Some printing presses use lead type because it can be easily shaped. It can be used outside because it does not corrode in water.

Most lead is used in lead acid batteries, though. The lead is oxidized, making electricity. Sheets of lead are used to block sound in some places. Lead is used in radiation shielding. Molten lead can be used as a coolant in nuclear reactors. It used to be mixed with tin to make the pipes in pipe organs. Different amounts of lead make different sounds. In addition, lead has found its usage in solder.

It is used in some solder. It is used in covering for wires that carry high voltage. Some tennis rackets have lead in them to make them heavier. It is used to balance wheels of cars, to make statues, and to make decorative looks in buildings.

As chemical compounds change

Many lead compounds are used to make colored glazes in ceramics. Lead can be used in PVC pipes. Lead compounds are added to candles to make them burn better. Lead glass has lead(II) oxide in it. Lead compounds are still used as pigments in some places. Lead compounds were added to gasoline, but are now outlawed. Some lead compounds are semiconductors and are used in photodetectors.

Old uses change

Lead was used in many red, yellow, and white pigments in paints. Lead was also used in pesticides. Lead used to be used in pipes carrying water, but now it is not because lead can leach into the water.

Safety change

Although it can be safely touched, exposure to lead should be avoided – it is very toxic to humans and other animals when swallowed, and its use is restricted in many countries.

If someone is exposed to lead for a long time, it ruins their kidneys and gives them abdominal pains. Lead also ruins the nervous system. Lead paint was being eaten by children and they were getting lead poisoning.

The best way to understand lead and its properties is to read its MSDS.

Related pages change

References change

  1. "Standard Atomic Weights: Lead". CIAAW. 1969.
  2. Pb(0) carbonyls have been observered in reaction between lead atoms and carbon monoxide; see Ling, Jiang; Qiang, Xu (2005). "Observation of the lead carbonyls PbnCO (n=1–4): Reactions of lead atoms and small clusters with carbon monoxide in solid argon". The Journal of Chemical Physics. 122 (3): 034505. 122 (3): 34505. Bibcode:2005JChPh.122c4505J. doi:10.1063/1.1834915. ISSN 0021-9606. PMID 15740207.
  3. Weast, Astle & Beyer 1983, p. E110.
  4. Kondev, F. G.; Wang, M.; Huang, W. J.; Naimi, S.; Audi, G. (2021). "The NUBASE2020 evaluation of nuclear properties" (PDF). Chinese Physics C. 45 (3): 030001. doi:10.1088/1674-1137/abddae.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Meija et al. 2016.
  6. "Discovering Roman Technology". BBC. Archived from the original on 2009-02-16. Retrieved 2009-10-03.
  7. "Is Bismuth Radioactive? Setting the Record Straight". The Bismuth Smith. The Bismuth Smith Inc. Retrieved 8 March 2024.