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Hydrated Rhodium Sesquioxide, Rh2O3.5H2O

Hydrated Rhodium Sesquioxide, Rh2O3.5H2O, is precipitated from solutions of rhodium salts, for example, rhodium trichloride, on addition of not too great a quantity of potassium or sodium hydroxide. On allowing to stand the red liquid deposits a rose-coloured precipitate consisting of the sesquioxide and some unaltered rhodium salt. The precipitate, however, gradually loses its red colour, becoming yellow, and remains such after thorough washing.

Obtained in the above manner rhodium sesquioxide is a yellow powder, and on being heated loses water and oxygen, yielding a black powder, which Claus regarded as the anhydrous sesquioxide, but for which Leidie's analyses suggest the empirical formula Rh3O4.

In the freshly precipitated condition rhodium sesquioxide dissolves in concentrated potassium hydroxide solution, from which it is precipitated again on dilution with water. If, however, chlorine is passed through the concentrated alkaline solution, a dark green precipitate of uncertain composition is formed, for which Claus suggested the formula Rh2O3.RhO2 or Rh3O5.

The sesquioxide readily dissolves in acids, giving yellow, noncrystalline salts of herbal taste.

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