Bismuth Facts

Bismuth Facts
Bismuth (Bi) has an atomic number of eighty-three. This brittle, whitish-pink member of the metals group has the highest Hall effect of any other metallic element.
Interesting Bismuth Facts:
Bismuth has been in use since ancient times, and was previously confused with both lead and tin.
While no single person is credited with its discovery, it wasn't until 1753 that Claude Geoffroy discovered that it was a separate element.
Bismuth was among the first group of ten metals to be discovered and classified.
Bismuth crystals grow in an odd, staircase-shaped formation due to a greater growth rate on its outside edges than on the inside.
Bismuth has one of the lowest levels of thermal conductivity.
Bismuth is one of only a few elements whose liquid state has a higher density than its solid state.
Because bismuth expands noticeably when becoming a solid, it is used to alloy with metals to compensate for contraction.
One of bismuth's isotopes, Bi-209, was once believed to be the heaviest stable isotope in existence, but it was proven in 2003 that this isotope actually does decay.
However, the half-life of bi-209 is more than a billion times longer than the projected age of the universe.
Due to the rate of decay of another isotope of bismuth, Bi-213, the substance has been researched in applications to treat leukemia patients.
Bismuth is around twice as common as gold in the Earth's crust.
The major ores that contain bismuth are bismuthinite and bismite.
Almost 9,000 tons of bismuth are extracted and produced annually.
China, Peru, and Mexico are the major suppliers of bismuth.
Almost 75% of the bismuth produced by those three countries comes from China.
Bismuth is difficult to recycle because of the scattered nature of its use in production.
Medications, cosmetics, paint, and bullets made of bismuth would currently be impossible to recycle due to technology limitations.
Bismuth does not have significant applications compared to other elemental metals.
In 2010, the US used less than 900 tons of bismuth, with more than 60% of those uses going to one of the four applications that cannot be recycled.
Beginning in 2014, water systems will be required to be lead-free, and bismuth is currently being studied as a replacement.

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