Bismuth


Rubber preparation catalyst
Fuses
Medicaments
Glass, Ceramics

Bismuth is used in pharmaceutical industry, in the production of cosmetics and in the chemical and metallurgical industries.

The pharmaceutical uses are principally in ingestion remedies. Soon after the discovery of bismuth as a distinct metal in the 15th Century, various of its compounds were recommended for a wide variety of diseases. By the latter 18th Century bismuth compounds were used with remarkable success in treating gastric spasms and dyspepsia. After World War I, the value of bismuth chemotherapeutic in the treatment of syphilis was recognized.

In the cosmetics industry, bismuth oxychloride is used to produce such products as lipsticks, eye shadow, etc.

In the chemical industry, bismuth is used in the manufacture of plastics, in the synthesis of methanol and as a catalyst. It is also used in the production of low melting alloys used in protective coatings for wood patterns and other metals, as fuses and in short life dies.

Intermetallic compounds of bismuth with tellurium or selenium are used in thermoelectric materials for making use of the Peltier effect for refrigeration, used in semiconductor devices such as CCDs or photodiodes.

Bismuth is also used in the production of permanent magnets.