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mercury(II) oxide


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A yellow or red oxide of mercury, HgO. The red form is made by heating mercury in oxygen at 350°C; the yellow form, which differs from the red in particle size, is precipitated when sodium hydroxide solution is added to a solution of mercury(II) nitrate. Both forms decompose to the elements at high temperature. The black precipitate formed when sodium hydroxide is added to mercury(I) nitrate solution is sometimes referred to as mercury(I) oxide (Hg2O) but is probably a mixture of HgO and free mercury.

Subjects: Chemistry.


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