Lead IV Oxide - PbO₂

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What is Lead IV Oxide?

The PbO2 or lead IV oxide is the formula of an oxide in which the oxidation state of lead is +4. It is also referred to as anhydrous Plumbic acid or lead dioxide or Plumbic oxide. It is considered to be a strong oxidising agent. However, Plumbic oxide does not dissolve in alcohol or water and stays insoluble in these liquids. It is a dark brown colour crystalline powder and is extensively used in making electrodes, explosives, and match sticks. This dark brown powder dissolves in Hydrochloric acid, nitric acid, oxalic acid, and many other acids. PbO2 is also used in the manufacturing procedure of rubber alternates.  


Properties of Lead IV Oxide PbO2

Physical Properties

  • PbO2 is a dark brown or black colour crystalline powder.

  • The molar mass of lead IV oxide is 239.1988g/mol

  • Lead oxide does not dissolve in the water and alcohol but is soluble in most of the acid.

  • This crystalline powder's melting point is 290°C or 554°F or 563K. 

  • Lead oxide has a density of 9.38g/cm³

Lead stands in three oxidation states: Pb (0), metal form, Pb (II), and Pb (IV). Lead naturally exists in Pb(II) form in our environment, and Pb(IV) is created under extremely oxidising conditions. Inorganic compounds Pb(IV) do not exist in the environment and are created for manufacturing explosives, and match sticks. 


Lead IV Oxide Structure PbO2

Lead's exact mass and monoisotopic mass is 239.966 g/mol. In Lead oxide structure, hydrogen bond acceptors are two in number whereas the number of hydrogen bond donors stands at zero. This compound has one covalently bonded unit and is canonicalised.


PbO2 Uses Lead IV Oxide

  • It is extensively used in manufacturing explosives

  • Lead IV Oxide is used in the manufacturing of dyes as an oxidising agent

  • It is employed as a curing agent for polysulfide

  • In electrochemistry, it is used as an anode material

  • Lead is used to electrolyte copper to prevent it from corrosion.

  • Textile industries employ lead oxide as an oxidising agent

  • It is also used in lead-acid storage batteries

  • Lead oxide is also used as an analytical reagent

  • To manufacture rubber substitutes lead oxide is used

  • It is also used in making lightning arresters

Production of Lead IV Oxide

The lead dioxide and lead oxide films can be obtained by various techniques like thermal evaporation, laser-assisted deposition, metal-organic CVD, atomic layer epitaxy, and exposing lead films to oxygen or RF oxygen plasma. However, the majority of these techniques use preformed lead oxide to put it in thin layers. Some of the techniques like MOCVD and ALD use precursor chemistry to deposit thin films. 

The reaction of red lead with nitric acid also produces lead oxide.

 Pb3O4+ 4HNO3 - PbO2+2Pb(NO3)2+ 2 H2O


Solved Questions

Q: What is the Lead IV Oxide Chemical Formula?

Ans: The chemical formula for Lead IV Oxide is PbO2


Q: What is Lead IV Oxide Decomposition Formula?

Ans: The lead oxide decomposes upon heating in the atmosphere is as follows.   

24PbO2- 2Pb12 O19+ 5O


Q: How is Lead Oxide Obtained?

Ans: PbO2 is a corrosion outcome that can evolve in lead pipes that are used for drinking water and the stability can regulate lead concentration in the water. It is obtained only by heating lead oxide in the air. By heating lead under pure oxygen there will be no impurity that will come out and hence there will be no corrosion. 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. What is Lead Oxide Used for?

Ans: Lead oxide is used in various sectors for manufacturing a myriad of products. From manufacturing matchsticks to dyes to textiles, Pb IV Oxide is used as an oxidizing agent in industries.  The inorganic compound of lead Pb₃O₄ is called lead oxide (IV & II), it is also commonly referred to as minium or red lead. The chemical formulae of Lead IV Oxide are PbO₂.


This material is a vivid orange and red block, it is used in rustproof priming paints and manufacturing batteries as a pigment. It is used to electrolyte copper to prevent corrosion. Lead oxide is employed as an anode material in electrochemistry. 

Q2. Why is Lead Oxide Used?

Ans: Lead is extensively used because it is an excellent corrosion repellent and has a low melting point. When lead is exposed to air and water it forms thin films of lead carbonate, lead oxides, and lead sulfate. These films act as a protective shield and slow down the corrosion process of the metal. Pb is amphoteric, it forms plumbites and plumbates in alkali, and with acid, it forms plumbous and plumbic salts. If we look at the position of Lead in the electromotive series, we see it is positioned higher than hydrogen and hence should theoretically replace H- in acids. Though the potential difference is small so high hydrogen overvoltage prevents delocalization.