Chemical elements
  Tellurium
    Isotopes
    Energy
    Production
    Physical Properties
    Chemical Properties
    Physiological_Action
    Atomic Weight
    Alloys
    Detection
    Estimation
    Compounds
      Hydrogen Telluride
      Tellurium Tetrafluoride
      Tellurium Hexafluoride
      Tellurium Oxyfluorides
      Tellurium Dichloride
      Tellurium Tetrachloride
      Tellurium Perchlorate
      Tellurium Dibromide
      Tellurium Tetrabromide
      Tellurium Oxybromides
      Tellurium Tetra-iodide
      Tellurium Monoxide
      Tellurium Dioxide
      Tellurites
      Tellurium Trioxide
      Telluric Acids
      Tellurates
      Tellurium Disulphide
      Tellurium-Sulphur Sesquioxide
      Tellurium Sulphates
      Telluropentathionic Acid
      Tellurium Nitride
      Tellurium Nitrite
      Basic Tellurium Nitrate
      Carbon Sulphidotelluride
      Tellurium Dicyanide
    Application
    PDB 1el7-4fon

Tellurium Monoxide, TeO






Tellurium Monoxide or Tellurium Suboxide, TeO, is produced when tellurium-sulphur sesquioxide is heated in a vacuum at 180° to 225° C., the residue being washed with sodium carbonate solution, hot water and finally alcohol:

TeSO3 = TeO + SO2.

According to Damiens, however, the substance obtained is a mixture of tellurium and tellurium dioxide.

In dry air tellurium monoxide is a stable, amorphous, grey powder, or a porous solid, to which a graphitic lustre can be imparted by pressure. It is slowly oxidised in moist air and also when heated in dry air, being converted into the dioxide.

Oxidising agents such as nitric acid and potassium permanganate convert the monoxide into the dioxide. Concentrated sulphuric acid has a somewhat similar effect, the red solution primarily produced slowly depositing tellurium sulphate:

2TeO + 3H2SO4 = Te(SO4)2 + TeSO3 + 3H2O.

Compared with tellurium and tellurium dioxide, tellurium monoxide is relatively unstable, as can be shown by the ease with which it passes into these two substances, for example when heated strongly in a vacuum or when treated with dilute acids or alkalis:

2TeO = Te + TeO2.

The monoxide absorbs gaseous hydrogen chloride without any marked change in appearance, but on heating some tellurium dichloride sublimes; the direct relationship between these two compounds is thus demonstrated.


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