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Bismuth General

Name:Bismuth Symbol:Bi
Type:Metal, Nitrogen group Atomic weight:208.9804
Density @ 293 K:9.807 g/cm3 Atomic volume:21.3 cm3/mol

 Bismuth has been known since the fifteenth century. In 1753 Claude Geoffroy the Younger established that it differed from lead.

Bismuth States

State (s, l, g):solid
Melting point:544.5 K (271.4 °C) Boiling point:1837 K (1564 °C)

Bismuth Energies

Specific heat capacity:0.123 J g-1 K-1 Heat of atomization:207 kJ mol-1
Heat of fusion: 11.3 kJ mol-1 Heat of vaporization :151 kJ mol-1
1st ionization energy: 703 kJ mol-1 2nd ionization energy:1610 kJ mol-1
3rd ionization energy:2466 kJ mol-1 Electron affinity: 91 kJ mol-1

Bismuth Oxidation & Electrons

Shells:2,8,18,32,18,5 Electron configuration:[Xe] 4f14 5d10 6s2 6p3
Minimum oxidation number:-3 Maximum oxidation number:5
Min. common oxidation no.:0 Max. common oxidation no.:3
Electronegativity (Pauling Scale):2.02 Polarizability volume:7.4 Å3

Bismuth Appearance & Characteristics

Structure:rhombohedral Color:white with a pinkish tinge
Hardness:2.25 mohs
Harmful effects:

Bismuth is not known to be toxic.


Bismuth is a crystalline, brittle, metal. Lying on the right side of the periodic table, bismuth is the most naturally diamagnetic metal (it is the most resistant to being magnetized). It also has a high electrical resistance. Its thermal conductivity is lower than any metal, except mercury. Bismuth also has the unusual property that (like water) it expands as it freezes. Four other elements expand when they freeze; silicon, gallium, antimony and germanium.


Bismuth is used in medicine (bismuth subnitrate and subcarbonate), cosmetics (bismuth oxychloride), low-melting alloys, fire detection/extinguishing systems, replacement for lead in shot and bullets (bismuth-tin alloy).

Bismuth Reactions

Reaction with air:mild, w/ht ⇒ Bi2O3 Reaction with 6 M HCl:none
Reaction with 15 M HNO3:mild ⇒ Bi(NO3)3, NOx Reaction with 6 M NaOH:none

Bismuth Compounds

Oxide(s):Bi2O3 Chloride(s):BiCl3, BiCl4

Bismuth Radius

Atomic radius:160 pm Ionic radius (1+ ion):pm
Ionic radius (2+ ion):pm Ionic radius (3+ ion):117 pm
Ionic radius (2- ion):pm Ionic radius (1- ion):pm

Bismuth Conductivity

Thermal conductivity:7.92 W m-1 K-1 Electrical conductivity: 0.00867 x 106 S cm-1

Bismuth Abundance & Isotopes

Abundance earth's crust:9 parts per billion by weight, 0.7 parts per billion by moles
Abundance solar system:10 parts per billion by weight, 0.07 parts per billion by moles
Cost, pure:$39 per 100g
Cost, bulk:$2.83 per 100g

Commercially, bismuth is produced as a byproduct of refining copper, lead, tin, silver, gold, and zinc ores.


Bismuth has 33 isotopes with mass numbers ranging from 185 to 217. Of these only 209Bi is stable.

Bismuth Other



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