Bismuth chloride

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Bismuth chloride
Names
IUPAC name
Bismuth chloride
Other names
Bismuth trichloride
Bismuth(III) chloride
Trichlorobismuth
Trichlorobismuthine
Properties
BiCl3
Molar mass 315.34 g/mol
Appearance White crystalline solid, hygroscopic
Density 4.75 g/cm3
Melting point 227 °C (441 °F; 500 K)
Boiling point 447 °C (837 °F; 720 K)
Hydrolyzes
Solubility Soluble in acetone, diethyl ether, methanol, THF
Slightly soluble in toluene
Thermochemistry
-1.202 kJ/g
Hazards
Safety data sheet Sigma-Aldrich
Flash point Non-flammable
Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):
3,324 mg/kg (rat, oral)
Related compounds
Related compounds
Antimony(III) chloride
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Infobox references

Bismuth chloride (also called bismuth(III) chloride or bismuth trichloride) is a chemical compound with the chemical formula BiCl3, a colorless hygroscopic solid, which readily hydrolyzes in moist air.

Since bismuth(V) chloride doesn't exist, the name bismuth(III) chloride is not always used.

Properties

Chemical

Bismuth chloride readily hydrolyzes in moist air, forming bismuth oxychloride and hydrochloric acid. BiCl3 hydrolyzes slower than its antimony equivalent, it takes more than 1 minute for any signs of visible hydrolysis in open air.

Physical

Bismuth chloride is a hygroscopic colorless compound, which reacts with water, but is soluble in organic solvents.

Availability

Bismuth chloride is sold by chemical suppliers.

Preparation

Can be prepared by reacting bismuth metal with concentrated hydrochloric acid. Recrystallization should be done from conc. HCl to limit hydrolysis. A water-free route involves reacting bismuth metal with chlorine gas.

The crude bismuth trichloride obtained is purified by subliming it under vacuum above 200 °C and condensing it on a cold finger. Use a cold trap to prevent corrosive HCl and BiCl3 fumes from getting sucked up in the pump and destroying it.

Projects

  • Make bismuth metal
  • Make organobismuth compounds

Handling

Safety

Bismuth chloride is very corrosive and contact with unprotected skin will cause severe dermatitis. It will also stain most types of gloves.

Storage

In air tight containers. Schlenk flasks filled with argon are ideal for storage.

Disposal

Bismuth chloride can be either neutralized with a base, then taken to a waste disposal center or you can reduce it with zinc or aluminium metal to metallic bismuth, which can be recycled.

References

  • Mabus - personal experience with the stuff; it's pretty nasty to work with and without a glovebox or Schlenk line it's extremely difficult to do any kind of reactions.

Relevant Sciencemadness threads