Chemical reactions of the elements

Reaction of bismuth with air

Upon heating, bismuth reacts with oxygen in air to form the trioxide bismuth(III) oxide, Bi2O3. The flame is bluish white.

4Bi(s) + 3O2(g) → 2Bi2O3(s)

Reaction of bismuth with water

At red heat, bismuth reacts with water to form the trioxide bismuth(III) oxide, Bi2O3.

2Bi(s) + 3H2O(g) → Bi2O3(s) + 3H2(g)

Reaction of bismuth with the halogens

Bismuth reacts with fluorine, F2, to form the pentafluoride bismuth(V) fluoride.

2Bi(s) + 5F2(g) → 2 BiF5(s) [white]

Bismuth reacts under controlled conditions with the halogens fluorine, F2, chlorine, Cl2, bromine, Br2, and iodine, I2, to form the respective trihalides bismuth(III) fluoride, BiF3, bismuth(III) chloride, BiCl3, bismuth(III) bromide, BiBr3, and bismuth(III) iodide, BiI3.

2Bi(s) + 3F2(g) → 2BiF3(s) []

2Bi(s) + 3Cl2(g) → 2BiCl3(s) []

2Bi(s) + 3Br2(g) → 2BiBr3(s) []

2Bi(s) + 3I2(g) → 2BiI3(s) []

Reaction of bismuth with acids

Bismuth dissolves in concentrated sulphuric acid, H2SO4, or nitric acid, HNO3, to form solutions containing Bi(III). The sulphuric acid reaction produces sulphur(IV) dioxide gas. With hydrochloric acid in the presence of oxygen, bismuth(III) chloride is produced.

4Bi(s) + 3O2(g) + 12HCl(aq) → 4BiCl3(aq) + 6H2O(l)

Reaction of bismuth with bases

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bismuth atomic number