Antimony Facts

Antimony Facts
Antimony (Sb) has an atomic number of fifty-one, with fifty-one protons in the nucleus. It is a highly brittle, bluish-white, semi-metallic element.
Interesting Antimony Facts:
Antimony was used in ancient Egypt as a form of eyeliner (kohl).
Other items made of antimony have been found dating back to 3000 BC in Chaldea (Iraq).
The first published report on how to isolate antimony was by Vannoccio Biringuccio in 1540.
Agricola published his own description in 1556, and is therefore often incorrectly credited with discovering antimony.
Antimony's periodic symbol comes from Jons Jakob Berzelius, who used the abbreviation for stibium.
Its name is attributed to the French word for "monk killer," since toxic antimony is linked to alchemy, which was often studied by monks.
Antimony is stable at normal temperatures, but reacts with oxygen when it is heated.
There are four known allotropes of antimony.
One of the allotropes, the metallic antimony, is stable, but the other three are metastable.
One of the metastable forms is explosive antimony, and produces white fumes when scratched with a metal object.
Antimony has two stable isotopes.
It also has thirty-five radioactive isotopes.
The longest half-life of any of the radioisotopes is 2.75 years.
Antimony is believed to be found in the Earth's crust at about 0.2 to 0.5 parts per million.
It is found in over 100 different minerals.
Antimony is occasionally found in its pure form, but is most commonly found in the mineral stibnite.
China is typically the top global producer of antimony, extracting between 84% and 88% of the supply.
Antimony is ranked first on the British Geological Survey's Risk List, due to its supply.
It was also listed as one of the twelve most critical materials by the EU, since the overwhelming supply comes from outside of Europe (China).
No new antimony deposits have been discovered in China in over ten years, and the current supply is being depleted quickly.
The predominant uses for antimony include alloying with other metals, creating flame retardant products, and as a chemical stabilizer.

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