Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Melting tellurium powder

Texium - 11-12-2023 at 14:09

I have some tellurium powder, and I was hoping to melt a couple grams of it into a little ingot (or at least a blob) to have as an element sample. I searched the forum, but couldn't find any information about melting tellurium. I assume either inert gas or a flux of some kind will be needed to prevent oxidation.

Due to its relatively low melting point, I thought perhaps I could put the powder into a borosilicate glass ampoule, purge with inert gas, and seal it. Then I could heat the entire ampoule above the melting point of Te, which is still well below the softening point for borosilicate. Has anyone tried something like this before?

[Edited on 12-11-2023 by Texium]

j_sum1 - 11-12-2023 at 16:13

I would be hesitant to heat a sealed ampoule. Gas expansion could ruin your sample.

Easier to neck a test tube, melt the Te with an argon flow, then seal.
Or, if it is just for an element sample, I have a nice crystalline piece Zi could give you.
(I can't really see that I will get into Te chemistry.)

Admagistr - 11-12-2023 at 16:33

A friend who sells chemical elements melts selenium powder regularly to get nice samples to sell and does it in the air!Of course he covers the crucible with a sealing lid.I think he uses a corundum crucible. But he complains,even when he does the work outdoors and with a mask,that he always smells a bit of selenium,he likens it to a sulphur-like smell.He has a degree and exam in toxicology and knows the dangers of selenium compounds.If you want to try it,I can ask him for details,tellur is selenium-like,so it should work similarly...

Fleaker - 16-12-2023 at 12:46

Goodness gracious, you couldn't pay me enough to melt Se or Te in air!

Admagistr - 16-12-2023 at 14:15

Quote: Originally posted by Fleaker  
Goodness gracious, you couldn't pay me enough to melt Se or Te in air!

I've also heard about thallium smelting and the emerald flame that appeared during it, but the details were withheld from me, that they don't talk about such things...I would never go for it either, but there is always someone who knows that they will make a very good profit and do it:(That's life...