Tungsten (W)
Symbol W
Atomic Number 74
Atomic Mass 183.84 amu
Discovered by Fausto and Juan Jose de Elhuyar, 1783

Chemical Properties of Tungsten

Group 6 Melting point 3414°C, 6177°F, 3687 K
Period 6 Boiling point 5555oC,10031oF, 5828 K
Block d Density (g cm−3) 19.3
Atomic number 74 Relative atomic mass 183.84
State at 20°C Solid Key isotopes 182W, 184W, 186W,
Electron configuration [Xe] 4f145d46S2 CAS number 7440-33-7
ChemSpider ID 22403 ChemSpider is a free chemical database

What is Tungsten?

  • Tungsten, also known as wolfram, along with Cr and Mo, belongs to group 6 of the periodic table. The element has an atomic number of 74 and an atomic mass of 184. Its two main oxidation states are +4 & +6 and five stable isotopes (180 W, 182 W, 183 W, 184 W and 186 W), among of which 182 W, 184 W, and 186 W are the most abundant at 26.498%, 30.64%, and 28.426% respectively. Tungsten is similar to Molybdenum chemically and its chemistry is amongst the most complex of the transition elements.
  • Tungsten is a relatively rare element, with a crystal abundance of around 1.0–1.5 mg kg-1, similar to that of its neighboring elements in the periodic table, Molybdenum.
  • Tungsten is a strong lithophile element, although it is a siderophile in iron meteorites and is markedly less chalcophile than Molybdenum. Apart from sulfides, it occurs as the W4+ cation in the rare mineral tungstenite, WS2 (cf. molybdenite, MoS2). Tungsten has an essentially anionic geochemistry based on the tungstate WO4 2- ion, in which the W6+ ion is present in four- or six-fold coordination.

Applications of Tungsten

  • Tungsten is an economically important metal, being widely used in light-bulb filaments, electron and television tubes, abrasives and special alloys such as steels tool. Tungsten carbide is of great importance to metal-works, in mining and petroleum industries. Contamination from these sources is therefore possible in industrial and urban areas.
  • Evidence for a significant biological role for Tungsten is sparse, in contrast to Molybdenum, which is an essential trace element, although minor concentrations in some plants suggest a specialized function perhaps substituting for Molybdenum when there is a deficiency. There is limited ecotoxicity data available, anything higher than trace amounts of Tungsten in solution is generally considered to be toxic.

Practise This Question

The number of molecules of carbon dioxide produced when 2 molecules of butane undergoes a combustion reaction is