Derived from the Latin word arsenicum and the Greek word arsenikos, meaning “masculine” or “male” Known since Ancient Rome and Greece, but many craftsman saw the element without realizing what is was. Credit for the discovery goes to the alchemist Albert the Great (Albertus Magnus) in 1250 A.D.
Solid at room temperature Three distinct forms ◦ Gray metallic sheen ◦ Yellow arsenic, prepared by cooling gray arsenic vapor in liquid air ◦ Black arsenic, developed by cooling arsenic vapor at 100°C-200°C
Melting Point: 1090 K (817°C) Boiling Point: 887 K (614°C) ◦ Melting Point is higher because in order to form liquid arsenic, the atmospheric pressure must be increased by 28 times Density: At 293 K, 5.72g/cm3
33 known isotopes and 10 isomers As-75 is the only one that occurs naturally and is stable 14 radioactive isotopes None of the isotopes have any important commercial use As-75
Found in abundance in the earth’s crust, and small quantities in rock, soil, water and air Industrial processes contribute to presence of arsenic in the air, water, and soil Present in many different forms ◦ Adheres to particles in the atmosphere ◦ Is in the stable form arsenate in water ◦ Strongly adheres to weathered rock and soil
People can remove arsenic from its ores by first, heating it to chemically convert arsenic sulfide to arsenic oxide Arsenic oxide is heated with charcoal (pure carbon) The carbon reacts with the oxygen, leaving behind pure arsenic Cost (pure): $320 per 100 g
Does not have many uses by itself, but is used in compounds: ◦ Lead arsenate, calcium arsenate, and paris green are used in rat poisons, pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides ◦ Chromated copper arsenate is used as a wood preserver due to toxicity to insects, bacteria, and fungus ◦ Added to germanium to make transistors ◦ Gallium arsenide to produce laser light from electricity ◦ Arsphenamine and arsenic trioxide were prescribed for syphilis and trypanosomiasis ◦ Used in ammunition to create harder, rounder bullets
Used in Middle Ages as poison to commit murder. Named “King of Poison” Does not melt when heated, but instead changes straight to a vapor Atomic mass: 74.9216 amu Top producers of arsenic are China, Peru, Chile, and Morocco.
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