Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Geochemistry

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

Date: Latest Version


  • Jacqueline R. HoustonAffiliated withCSUS – California State University Email author 

Element Data

Antimony (Sb: atomic weight 121.76) is a silvery metalloid with common oxidation states of (−3), (+3) and (+5). Antimony has two stable isotopes: 121Sb (natural abundance of 57.36 %) and 123Sb (natural abundance of 42.64 %).


Antimony has four allotropes, which include the blue-white metalloid, the most common allotrope of antimony, and three meta-stable allotropes, yellow, black and explosive. Antimony forms a variety of chemical compounds such as chlorides (SbCl3), fluorides (SbF3), oxides (Sb2O3 and Sb4O10) and sulfides (Sb2S3) (Greenwood and Earnshaw, 1997; Wiberg et al., 2001).

History and Use

Antimony has found many commercial applications. Antimony trioxides (Sb2O3) are most often used as fire retardants in foam filled furniture, accounting for roughly 60 % of its commercial production. Antimony is also used as an alloying material for lead-acid batteries, bullets, and solder (roughly 20 % of commercial ...

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