Lead (Pb) is the chemical element with atomic number 82 of the periodic table of elements. It is a very particular metal because it has a lot of flexibility and chemical reaction capacity. It is bluish gray in color. It is a heavy metal that has a Relative density or specific gravity 11.4 at 16 ° C. It is a flexible, inelastic and easy to melt metal. Its fusion takes place at 327.4 ° C and has a density of 11340 kg / m3. It has a great reactivity that makes It can be used in various compounds such as tetraethyl lead or the lead silicates that are the most used in industry. Lead is amphoteric since it creates lead salts of lead acids and metallic salts. It is a heavy and toxic metal, lead poisoning is called lead poisoning, and the main use of lead is in the manufacture of rechargeable batteries. Lead forms alloys with many other metals. In fact, its applications for the most part are in that form. The most common alloys are those made from steel, aluminum, tin, copper, and zinc. It has many applications in very diverse fields: batteries, taps, batteries ... Lead is found in abundance in the earth's crust but is rarely found in its elemental state. Most of the metal is extracted from underground mines. There are more than 60 metals that can contain lead, but 3 are used to extract lead: galena, cerussite and anglesite. Furnaces are used to extract lead from galena where the ore is calcined and the oxide is reduced until the lead sulphide is converted into lead oxide and sulphate. In this process, various pollutants such as bismuth, arsenic, cadmium, silver, copper, gold and zinc are released. Its natural sources are the wear of lead deposits, soil erosion and volcanic emanations. 50% of the lead obtained comes from recycling mostly car batteries. It can be reused indefinitely and when it is recycled it undergoes fusion processes to make it liquid and transform it into new items. Lead scrap is considered hazardous waste, so it is treated by authorized managers. Recycling this metal requires up to 40% less energy than producing it as a primary metal.
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