Dilute sulphuric acid attacks it but slowly; hydrochloric acid, especially if strong, dissolves it readily, with the formation, more immediately, of a hyacinthcoloured solution of U 2 C1 6, which, however, readily absorbs oxygen from the air, with the formation of a green solution of UC1 4, which in its turn gradually passes into one of yellow uranyl salt, U02.
If forms two series of salts, one, the uranous compounds, are derived from the oxide U02, the other, the uranyl compounds, contain the divalent group U02.
Uranous Compounds.-Uranium dioxide, UO 2 (Berzelius's metal), is a brown to copper-coloured powder, obtained by heating U308 or uranyl oxalate in hydrogen.
Uranyl or Uranic Compounds.-Uranic oxide, UO 3 „or UO 2.
O, is obtained by heating uranyl nitrate to 250° as a yellow solid, insoluble in water, but soluble in acids with the formation of uranyl salts.
Various hydrates have been described, but they cannot be formed by precipitating a uranyl salt with an alkali, this reagent giving rise to salts termed uranates.
Uranyl nitrate, U02(N03)2.6H20, is the most important uranium salt.
Uranyl nitrate is used in photography, and also in analytical chemistry as a precipitant for phosphoric acid (as uranyl ammonium phosphate, U02 NH4 P04).
Uranyl chloride, UO 2 C1 2, is a yellow crystalline mass formed when chlorine is passed over uranium dioxide at a red heat.
Uranyl sulphide, UO 2 S, is a black precipitate obtained by adding ammonium sulphide to a uranyl solution.
Solutions of uranyl salts (nitrate, &c.) behave to reagents as follows: sulphuretted hydrogen produces green uranous salt with precipitation of sulphur; sulphide of ammonium in neutral solutions gives a black precipitate of UO 2 S, which settles slowly and, while being washed in the filter, breaks up partially into hydrated UO 2 an sulphur; ammonia gives a yellow precipitate of uranate of ammonia, characteristically soluble in hot carbonate of ammonia solution; prussiate of potash gives a brown precipitate which in appearance is not unlike the precipitate produced by the same reagent in cupric salts.
I a the basic tellurate montanite, Bi 2 (OH) 4 TeO 4; the silicates eulytite and agricolite, B14(S104) 3; and the uranyl arsenate walpurgite, Bi(U02)3(OH)24(As04)4.
Of these we may notice libethenite, Cu 2 (OH)PO 4; chalcosiderite, a basic copper iron phosphate; torbernite, a copper uranyl phosphate; andrewsite, a hydrated copper iron phosphate; and henwoodite, a hydrated copper aluminium phosphate.