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On exercise 12.17 d, Bi2O3 is listed as an amphoteric oxide in the SSM. However, as an oxide, Bi is listed as an acidic oxide on Professor Lavelle's lecture notes (the periodic table of oxide figure). Why do the two differ? Does it have something to do with the number of O bonded to the Bi?
An oxide that is combined with water to produce an acid is an acidic oxide. An oxide that produces a base in water is a basic oxide. An amphoteric acid can act as either a base or an acid.
A TA actually went over this in one of the review sessions. I think he explained that bismuth is a very poor conductor and even though it is a metal, it has more nonmetal properties because it such a bad conductor and therefore is labelled as amphoteric.
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