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Chemical, physical and material properties and data of the chemical element Lead.



Lead is a chemical element with the symbol Pb and atomic number 82. It is a heavy, soft, gray metal that is easily malleable and has a high density. Lead has been used for thousands of years and was one of the first metals worked by humans. It was often used as an alloy with other metals to make swords, arrowheads, and other tools and weapons.

Lead is also an important component of lead-acid batteries used in cars and other electronic devices. It is also commonly used in industry and construction projects as it has good thermal conductivity and good corrosion resistance.

However, lead, particularly in the form of its chemical compounds, can be harmful to humans if inhaled or ingested. It can cause neurological damage and other health problems, which is why many countries have strict regulations on the use and handling of lead.

The name lead derives from Old Germanic words such as bhlei or bliwa, which means soft or liquid, and refers to lead's soft, malleable and easily melted nature. In many languages, the name lead has a cognate word form with the Latin word plumbum, which also means lead and is the origin of the element symbol Pb.

The name lead has also been used in many mythological and literary works to describe heaviness and density in various contexts - and is associated with Saturn. In Greek mythology, lead was often used as a symbol of bondage, while in Roman mythology, lead was seen as a symbol of doom and ruin. In the Bible, lead was used as a symbol of heaviness and burden, as in the famous verse My sins are like lead that draws me down (Psalm 38:4).


General Information about Lead

Regular nameLeadChemical symbolPbOther namesElement 82Systematic nameHistorical namesSymbol Pb from Plumbum (Latin for lead)Name meaning, originThe name lead comes from the old Germanic terms bhlei, bli or bliwa, meaning soft or liquidDiscovery (year)About 7000 BC; probably first obtained in pure form in the Middle EastOccurenceLead in the form of its compounds (often carbonates and suldides) is a fairly common element on earth and occurs in association with other metals such as zinc, silver and copper etc. - such as in the ores galenite, cerussite and anglesite.Position in the PSEGroup 15, period 6, p-block (main group IV)Group membershipCarbon group, tetrele, heavy metals


Atomar Properties of Lead

Atomic number Z82 = number of protonsStandard Atomic Weight207.2 (1)
intervall: [206.14, 207.94]


Electron configuration of Lead


Abbreviated form: [Xe] 4f14 5d10 6s2 6p2 .


Ionization Energies of Lead

The following table lists the ionization energies IE (ionization potentials); the IE is the energy required in electron volts (eV) per atom to separate a given electron from an Lead atom.



Isotopic Data of Lead

An overview of the nuclides as well as the isotopic data and properties are listed on the following page: Lead isotopes.


Chemistry of Lead


Electronegativity1.8 (Pauling original)
2.33 (Pauling)
1.854 (Allen)
2.01 (Sanderson)
1.55 (Allred-Rochow)
3.90 eV (Pearson)
Electron affinity0.356 743(16) eV
34.4204(15) kJ mol-1


Standard Electrode Potential

E0 (V)SymbolNoxName Ox.
Name Red.
-0.58Pb+ II
Lead monoxide
PbO (s) + H2O
⇄ Pb (s) + 2 OH-
+ 2 e-
-0.3588Pb+ II
Lead(II) sulfate
PbSO4 (s)
⇄ Pb (s) + SO42-
+ 2 e-
-0.13Pb+ II
Lead(II) cation
⇄ Pb (s)
+ 2 e-
1.46Pb+ IV
+ II
Lead(IV) oxide, β-
Lead(II) cation
β-PbO2 (s) + 4 H+
⇄ Pb2+ + 2 H2O
+ 2 e-
1.468Pb+ IV
+ II
Lead(IV) oxide, α-
Lead(II) cation
α-PbO2 (s) + 4 H+
⇄ Pb2+ + 2 H2O
+ 2 e-
1.69Pb+ IV
+ II
Lead(IV) cation
Lead(II) cation
⇄ Pb2+
+ 2 e-


Material and Physical Properties

The table below lists some physical data and material properties of pure lead.

Melting point327.462 °CEnthalpy of fusion (molar)4.77 kJ mol-1Enthalpy of fusion (specific)23.4 kJ mol-1Boiling point1749 °CEnthalpy of vaporization179.4 kJ mol-1Density11.34 g cm-3


External Data, Identifiers

CAS registry number7439-92-1InChI =1S/PbInChIKeyWABPQHHGFIMREM-UHFFFAOYSA-NPubChem ID5352425


Literature Sources and References

[1] - Xiang-Kun Zhu, Jacqueline Benefield, Tyler B. Coplen, Zhaofu Gao, Norman E. Holden:
Variation of lead isotopic composition and atomic weight in terrestrial materials.
In: IUPAC Technical Report, (2020), DOI 10.1515/pac-2018-0916.


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Last update: 2022-12-21

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