Encyclopedia of Metalloproteins

2013 Edition
| Editors: Robert H. Kretsinger, Vladimir N. Uversky, Eugene A. Permyakov

Strontium, Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Timothy P. Hanusa
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-1533-6_174



A heavy member of the alkaline-earth elements (atomic number 38), strontium is a soft, silvery, highly reactive metal. Its compounds have various uses, particularly in pyrotechnics, as phosphors, and in sugar refining. Strontium salts are generally nontoxic, and the human body treats strontium much as it does calcium; strontium supplementation can be used to increase bone density and growth.


Strontium is a member of the alkaline-earth family of metals (Group 2 in the periodic table). It is a relatively common element, ranking approximately 15th in natural abundance in the Earth’s crust; it is more plentiful than, for example, sulfur or chromium. The free metal does not occur in nature, but is found combined in minerals such as celestite (strontium sulfate, SrSO 4) (Fig. 1), or less commonly, in strontianite (strontium carbonate, SrCO 3). A mineral from a lead mine near the village of Strontian, in Scotland, was...
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA