lead(II) oxide

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A solid yellow compound, PbO, which is insoluble in water; m.p. 886°C. It exists in two crystalline forms: litharge (tetrahedral; r.d. 9.53) and massicot (rhombic; r.d. 8.0). It can be prepared by heating the nitrate, and is manufactured by heating molten lead in air. If the temperature used is lower than the melting point of the oxide, the product is massicot; above this, litharge is formed. Variations in the temperature and in the rate of cooling give rise to crystal vacancies and red, orange, and brown forms of litharge can be produced. The oxide is amphoteric, dissolving in acids to give lead(II) salts and in alkalis to give plumbates.

Subjects: Chemistry.

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