Tungsten Trioxide

Tungsten Trioxide Picture

Tungsten Trioxide, also known as tungsten oxide or tungstic anhydride, WO3, is a chemical compound containing oxygen and the transition metal tungsten. It is obtained as an intermediate in the recovery of tungsten from its minerals. Tungsten ores are treated with alkalis to produce WO3. Further reaction with carbon or hydrogen gas reduces tungsten trioxide to the pure metal.

WO3 + 3H2 → W + 3H2O
2WO3 + 3C → 2W + 3CO2

Tungsten trioxide occurs naturally in form of hydrates, which include minerals: tungstite WO3·H2O, meymacite WO3·2H2O and hydrotungstite (of same composition as meymacite, however sometimes written as H2WO4). These minerals are rare to very rare secondary tungsten minerals.

Preparation
Tungsten trioxide can be prepared in several different ways. CaWO4, or scheelite, is allowed to react with HCl to produce tungstic acid, which decomposes to WO3 and water at high temperatures.

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