FAQ

Lead dioxide, PbO2, also plumbic oxide is an oxide of lead in oxidation state +4. It is an odorless dark-brown crystalline powder which is nearly insoluble in water. It exists in two crystalline forms. The alpha phase has orthorhombic symmetry; it has been first synthesized in 1941 and identified in nature as a rare mineral scrutinyite in 1988. On the contrary, the more prevailing, tetragonal beta phase was first identified as the mineral plattnerite around 1845 and later produced synthetically. Lead dioxide is a strong oxidizing agent which is used in the manufacture of matches, pyrotechnics, dyes and other chemicals. It also has several important applications in electrochemistry, in particular as a component of lead acid batteries.

PbO is used extensively in manufacturing of lead glasses and ceramic glazes as well as in fine dinnerware. For such applications, the PbO is converted in situ to lead silicate, which is less toxic. Other less dominating applications include the vulcanization of rubber and the production of certain pigments and paints.[6] PbO is used in cathode ray tube glass to block X-ray emission, but mainly in the neck and funnel because it can cause discoloration when used in the faceplate. Strontium oxide is preferred for the faceplate.

 

Lead dioxide is an amphoteric compound with prevalent acidic properties. It dissolves in strong bases to form the hydroxyplumbate ion, Pb(OH)62−:[1]

PbO2 + 2 NaOH + 2 H2O → Na2[Pb(OH)6]

It also reacts with basic oxides in the melt yielding orthoplumbatesM4[PbO4].

Because of the instability of its Pb4+cation, lead dioxide reacts with warm acids, converting to the more stable Pb2+ state and liberating oxygen:[5]

2 PbO2 + 2 H2SO4 → 2 PbSO4 + H2O + O2

2 PbO2 + 4 HNO3 → 2 Pb(NO3)2 + H2O + O2

PbO2 + 4 HCl → PbCl2 + 2 H2O + Cl2

Lead dioxide is well known for being a good oxidizing agent with example reaction listed below:[6]

2 MnSO4 + 5 PbO2 + 6 HNO3 → 2 HMnO4 + 2 PbSO4 + 3 Pb(NO3)2 + 2 H2O

2 Cr(OH)3 + 10 KOH + 3 PbO2 → 2 K2CrO4 + 3 K2PbO2 + 8 H2O

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