Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Geochemistry

Part of the series Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series pp 1-2

Date: Latest Version


  • Monica VasiliuAffiliated withDepartment of Chemistry, The University of Alabama Email author 
  • , David A. DixonAffiliated withDepartment of Chemistry, The University of Alabama Email author 

Element Data

Atomic Symbol: Cd

Atomic Number: 48

Atomic Weight: 112.411

Isotopes and Abundances: 106Cd 1.25 %, 108Cd 0.89 %, 110Cd 12.51 %, 111Cd 12.81 %, 112Cd 24.13 %, 113Cd 12.22 %, 114Cd 28.72 %, 116Cd 7.47 %

1 Atm Melting Point: 594.1 K

1 Atm Boiling Point: 1038 K

Common Valences: +2, +1

Ionic Radii: (+II) 103 ppm, (+I) 114 ppm

Pauling Electronegativity: 1.69

First Ionization Energy: 867.8 kJ/mol

Chondritic (CI) Abundance: 686 ppb

Silicate Earth Abundance: 0.04 ppm

Crustal Abundance: 0.11 ppm

Seawater Abundance: 0.11 ppb

Core Abundance: 0.15 ppm


Cadmium (Emsley 1991, 2001; Anthoni 2006; Anders and Grevesse 1989; McDonough 2005) is a lustrous, silvery-white metal with a bluish tinge on the surface and tarnishes in air. It is very ductile and malleable and is soft enough to be cut with a knife. Cadmium is soluble in acids but not in alkaline solutions. In many ways, cadmium is similar to zinc but forms more complex compounds.

Cadmium was not considered to be radioactive un ...

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