Introduction to Heavy Metals and Transitional Metals

Introduction:

The elements like Iron (Fe), Copper (Cu), Silver (Ag), Gold (Au), Zinc (Zn), Mercury (Hg), Tin (Sn) are generally considered as heavy metals. Metals having density more than 5 gram/cc are known as heavy metals.

Properties of heavy metals:

  • Heavy metals are hard and has high melting point and boiling point.
  • They have high specific gravity (relative density).
  • Heavy metals combined with one another to form important alloys.
  • These metals have more than one oxidation state (variable valency). For example: Fe++ and Fe+++, Cu2++ and Cu++ etc.
  • These metals generally give colored compound. For example: Ferric salts are light green in color, Ferric salts are brownish in color while Copper salts are blue in color.
  • They are good conductor of heat and electricity.

D-block or transition elements:

The elements which lies between S block and P block elements in Modern Periodic element are called D-block or transitional elements. These elements have partially filled sub-shells and has common oxidation state.

General characteristics of Transitional elements:

  • They are hard, strong and has high boiling and melting points.
  • They are good conductor of heat and electricity.
  • They are ductile materials (can be transformed into thin sheets).
  • They form alloy with one another and with other metallic elements.
  • They form interstitial compound with the non metals like carbon, boron, nitrogen, hydrogen, etc.
  • They are highly soluble in mineral acids.
  • They exibit variable oxidation state
  • Their ions and compounds are colored.
  • The general electronic configuration of these metals is (n-1)d1-10ns1-2.

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