Nickel:
Ni; at. wt 58.69; at. no. 28; valence 2; seldom 1, 3, 4. Five naturally occuring isotopes: 58 (67.76%); 60 (26.16%); 61 (1.25%); 62 (3.66%); 64 (1.16%); artificial, radioactive isotopes: 56; 57; 59; 63; 65-67. Abundance in earth's crust 0.018%. Its elementary nature was recognized by Cronstedt in 1754: Cronstedt, Mineralogie (Stockholm, 1758) p 218. Isolated by Berthier, Ann. Chim. Phys. [2] 14, 52 (1820); 25, 94 (1824). Occurs free in meteorites. Found in many ores as sulfides, arsenides, antimonides and oxides or silicates; chief sources include chalcopyrite, q.v., pyrrhotite, pentlandite [(Fe,Ni)9S8] and garnierite [3(Mg,Ni)O.2SiO2.2H2O]; other ores include niccolyte (NiAs) and millerite (NiS). Methods of extraction and purification: Mackiw, Can. J. Chem. Eng. 46, 3 (1968); Houot, Ann. Mines 1969 (April), 9; Queneau, J. Metals 22, 44-48 (1970). Prepn of high purity nickel: Wise, Schaefer, Metals Alloys 16, 424 (1924); from NiO and H2: Glemser in Handbook of Preparative Organic Chemistry vol. 2, G. Brauer, Ed. (Academic Press, New York, 2nd ed., 1965) pp 1543-1544; by electrolysis: Vu Quang Kinh, Nardin, Compt. Rend. Ser. C 266, 307 (1968). Comprehensive reviews: Gmelin's, Nickel (8th ed.) 57, 5 vols, about 3500 pp (1965-1967); Nicholls in Comprensive Inorganic Chemistry vol. 3, J. C. Bailar, Jr. et. al., Eds. (Pergamon Press, Oxford, 1973) pp 1109-1161; J. K. Tien, T. E. Howson in Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology vol. 15 (Wiley-Interscience, New York, 3rd ed., 1981) pp 787-801. Book: Nickel Toxicology, S. S. Brown, F. W. Sunderman, Eds. (Academic Press, New York, 1980) 193 pp. Review of carcinogenicity studies: IARC Monographs 11, 75-112 (1976).

Lustrous white, hard, ferromagnetic metal; face-centered cubic crystals. mp 1555. bp (calc) 2837 (3110K): D. R. Stull, G. C. Sinke, Thermodynamic Properties of the elements, Advances in chemistry Series 18 (A.C.S., Washington, 1956). d 8.90. Heat capacity (25) 6.23 cal/g-atom/C. Mohs' hardness 3.8. Latent heat of fusion 73 cal/g. Electrical resistivity (20): 6.844 ohms-cm. E(aq) Ni/Ni 2+ 0.250 V. Stable in air at ordinary temp; burns in oxygen, forming NiO; not affected by water; decomposes steam at red heat. Slowly attacked by dil hydrochloric or sulfuric acid; readily attacked by nitric acid. Not attacked by fused alkali hydroxides.

Caution: May cause dermatitis in sensitive individuals. Ingestion of soluble salts causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea: E. Browning, Toxicity of Industrial Metals (Appleton-Century-Crofts, New York, 2nd ed., 1969) pp 249-260. This substance and certain nickel coumpounds may reasonably be anticipated to be carcinogens: Fourth Annual Report on Carcinogens (NTP 85-002,1985) p 138.

USE: Nickel-plating; for various alloys such as new silver, Chinese silver, German silver; for coins, electrotypes, storage batteries; magnets, lighting-rod tips, electrical contacts and electrodes, spark plugs, machinery parts; catalyst for hydrogenation of oils and other organic substances. See also Raney nickel. Probably the largest use of nickel is in the manuf of Monel metal, stainless steel, and nickel-chrome resistance wire; in alloys for electronic and space applications.
Ref.: 6406, 1027 pp.
The Merck Index - Eleventh Edition.
Copyright 1989 by Merck & Co., Inc.