Chemical reactions of the elements

Reaction of niobium with air

Niobium does not react with air under normal conditions. The surface of niobium metal is protected by a thin oxide layer.

Reaction of niobium with water

Niobium does not react with water under normal conditions. The surface of niobium metal is protected by a thin oxide layer.

Reaction of niobium with the halogens

Niobium does react with the halogens upon warming to form niobium(V) halides. So, niobium reacts with fluorine, F2, chlorine, Cl2, bromine, I2, and iodine, I2, to form respectively niobium(V) bromide, NbF5, niobium(V) chloride, NbCl5, niobium(V) bromide, NbBr5, and niobium(V) iodide, NbI5.

2Nb(s) + 5F2(g) → NbF5(s) [white]

2Nb(s) + 5Cl2(g) → NbCl5(l) [yellow]

2Nb(s) + 5Br2(g) → NbBr5(s) [orange]

2Nb(s) + 5I2(g) → NbI5(s) [brass coloured]

Reaction of niobium with acids

Niobium appears not to be attacked by many acids at room temperature but does dissolve in hydrofluoric acid, HF, or in a mixture of HF and nitric acid, HNO3.

Reaction of niobium with bases

Niobium metal is largely resistant to attack by molten alkali but will dissolve slowly.

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niobium atomic number