Questions about element: OSMIUM?

Please answer these questions as specifically as possible!

- How is osmium made? (with a focus on the chemistry of the mineral)

- Economic value of the product?

- Enviromental concerns surrounding any aspect of the mineral?



Don't give me links to articles such as Wikipedia or something because I already tried there and didn't find anything. Thanks! :)

2 Answers

  • Levi
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    How is it 'made':

    "Osmium is obtained commercially as a by-product from nickel and copper mining and processing. During electrorefining of copper and nickel, noble metals such as silver, gold and the platinum group metals, together with non-metallic elements such as selenium and tellurium settle to the bottom of the cell as anode mud, which forms the starting material for their extraction. In order to separate the metals, they must first be brought into solution. Several methods are available depending on the separation process and the composition of the mixture; two representative methods are fusion with sodium peroxide followed by dissolution in aqua regia, and dissolution in a mixture of chlorine with hydrochloric acid. Osmium, ruthenium, rhodium and iridium can be separated from platinum, gold and base metals by their insolubility in aqua regia, leaving a solid residue. Rhodium can be separated from the residue by treatment with molten sodium bisulfate. The insoluble residue, containing Ru, Os and Ir, is treated with sodium oxide, in which Ir is insoluble, producing water-soluble Ru and Os salts. After oxidation to the volatile oxides, RuO4 is separated from OsO4 by precipitation of (NH4)3RuCl6 with ammonium chloride.

    After it is dissolved, osmium is separated from the other platinum group metals by distillation or extraction with organic solvents of the volatile osmium tetroxide. The first method is similar to the procedure used by Tennant and Wollaston. Both methods are suitable for industrial scale production. In either case, the product is reduced using hydrogen, yielding the metal as a powder or sponge that can be treated using powder metallurgy techniques."

    Economic value of the product:

    "Neither the producers nor the United States Geological Survey published any production amounts for osmium. Estimations of the United States consumption date published from 1971,[ which gives a consumption in the United States of 2000 troy ounces (62 kg), would suggest that the production is still less than 1 ton per year. Due to its rarity, osmium metal costs in excess of $70 per gram."

    "Because of the volatility and extreme toxicity of its oxide, osmium is rarely used in its pure state, and is instead often alloyed with other metals. Those alloys are utilized in high-wear applications. Osmium alloys such as osmiridium are very hard and, along with other platinum group metals, are used in the tips of fountain pens, instrument pivots, and electrical contacts, as they can resist wear from frequent operation. The stylus (needle) in early phonograph designs was also made of osmium, especially for 78-rpm records, until sapphire and synthetic diamond replaced the metal in later designs for 45-rpm and 33-rpm long-playing records.

    Osmium tetroxide has been used in fingerprint detection[45] and in staining fatty tissue for optical and electron microscopy. As a strong oxidant, it cross-links lipids mainly by reacting with unsaturated carbon-carbon bonds, and thereby both fixes biological membranes in place in tissue samples and simultaneously stains them. Because osmium atoms are extremely electron dense, osmium staining greatly enhances image contrast in transmission electron microscopy (TEM) studies of biological materials. Those carbon materials have otherwise very weak TEM contrast (see image).[15] Another osmium compound, osmium ferricyanide (OsFeCN), exhibits similar fixing and staining action.

    An alloy of 90% platinum and 10% osmium is used in surgical implants such as pacemakers and replacement of pulmonary valves.[47]

    The tetroxide and a related compound, potassium osmate, are important oxidants for chemical synthesis, despite being very poisonous. For the Sharpless asymmetric dihydroxylation, which uses osmate for the conversion of a double bond into a vicinal diol, Karl Barry Sharpless won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2001.

    In 1898 an Austrian chemist, Auer von Welsbach, developed the Oslamp with a filament made of osmium, which he introduced commercially in 1902. After only few years, osmium was replaced by the more stable metal tungsten (also known as wolfram). Tungsten has the highest melting point of any metal, and using it in light bulbs increases the luminous efficacy and life of incandescent lamps.[27]

    The light bulb manufacturer OSRAM (founded in 1906 when three German companies, Auer-Gesellschaft, AEG and Siemens & Halske, combined their lamp production facilities) derived its name from the elements of OSmium and wolfRAM.[52]

    Like palladium, powdered osmium effectively absorbs hydrogen atoms. This could make osmium a potential candidate for a metal hydride battery electrode. However, osmium is expensive and would react with potassium hydroxide, the most common battery electrolyte.[53]

    Osmium has high reflectivity in the ultraviolet range of the electromagnetic spectrum; for example, at 600 Å osmium has a reflectivity two times that of gold. This high reflectivity is desirable in space-based UV spectrometers which have reduced mirror sizes due to space limitations. Osmium-coated mirrors were flown in several space missions aboard the Space Shuttle, but it soon became clear that the oxygen radicals in the low earth orbit are abundant enough to significantly deteriorate the osmium layer."

    Environmental concerns:

    "Finely divided metallic osmium is pyrophoric. Osmium reacts with oxygen at room temperature forming volatile osmium tetroxide. Some osmium compounds are also converted to the tetroxide if oxygen is present.This makes osmium tetroxide the main source of contact with the environment. Osmium tetroxide is highly volatile and penetrates skin readily, and is very toxic by inhalation, ingestion, and skin contact. Airborne low concentrations of osmium tetroxide vapor can cause lung congestion and skin or eye damage, and should therefore be used in a fume hood. Osmium tetroxide is rapidly reduced to relatively inert compounds by polyunsaturated vegetable oils, such as corn oil."

    If that's not enough try the references in the article, they will have more detail for you.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    by way of fact it rather is the heaviest component (the two osmium or irridium is the heaviest metallic, the identify is disputed as a effect of isotopic situations and purity, in spite of; for all purpose and applications it is elementary to assume osmium is as dense as irridium and pass away it at that), then you certainly ought to in all hazard sell it to musicians who're into heavy metallic...

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