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Lead Oxides

Lead is seldom found uncombined in nature, it is mostly found in the form of Lead Oxides. Lead Oxides includes all oxides of Lead (Pb). In Lead Oxide category, all three lead Oxides are subcategorized as Lead Sub Oxide, which is a mixture of Lead Oxides & free Lead Powder and commercially called as Grey Oxide secondly reddish oxide of lead as Red Lead used as a pigment in paints, glass and ceramics thirdly a Yellow Lead Oxide, also called Lead Monoxide and commercially called Litharge.

There are several uses of the Lead Oxides. Lead Oxides are mainly used as raw material in making lead glass for electronic elements, optical glass etc. Lead Oxides are also used in industries such as antirust paint, and ceramics store battery. There are individual uses of Lead Oxides also. Lead Sub-Oxide, also commercially known as Grey Oxide / LSO is used extensive for preparation of plates in lead acid batteries.

Types of Lead Oxides :


Red Lead (Pb3O4)

Red Lead is orange red powder. Red Lead is a Lead Oxide contains approximating Pb3O4. Commercially Red Lead contains varying amounts of Lead Monoxide (PbO). It is soluble in Nitric Acid (HNO3) and hot Alkali. Red Lead is stored in a dry place and must keep away from heat, sunlight and fire.




Chemical Formula-Pb3O4
Molecular Weight-686
Color-Red / Orange as Powder
Gravity-9.35 – 9.45 microns
Density-19 – 25 g/cc
Melting Point-500oC (Decomposes)
Solubility-Insoluble in Water & Alcohol
Synonyms-Lead Tetroxide, Trilead Teroxide, Bright Lead


Applications : Red Lead is used in a wide range area


  • Red Lead is used or utilized in battery manufacture ( for Battery Plates)
  • Red Lead is also used for manufacturing of Crystal Glass, Ceramics and Anti-Corrosive coatings.
  • Red Lead is used for the protection of ferrous metal surfaces as a Primer.
  • Red Lead is used as a polymer stabilizer and vulcanizer in rubber industries.
  • Red Lead is used for making Optical Glass, Antirust Paint.
  • Red Lead is used as week oxidizer in chemical industry.


Litharge (Lead Monoxide) or PbO


Litharge is also known as Lead Oxide or Lead Monoxide. Litharge is a secondary mineral and it is a red or yellow crystalline powder. Litharge is a significant product for making Power Cable, Ceramic and storage battery industries as a pigment. Litharge is produced by contacting molten lead with air. Lead Monoxide is obtained as a crystallized or amorphous power.

Chemical Formula-PbO
Molecular Weight-223.20
Color-Reddish or Yellow crystalline Powder
Gravity-9.5 – 9.7 microns
Melting Point-888 - 897oC
Synonyms-Lead Oxide, Lead Monoxide, Lead Litharge PbO



  • Litharge is widely used for plates making for electric storage batteries
  • Pure Litharge is used in storage battery and heavy duty batteries for more long life.
  • Litharge or Lead Monoxide is also used in ceramic and glass industries.
  • Litharge with Red Lead or Lead Suboxide is also used in storage batteries.
  • Litharge is required as a one of the primary materials for Lead based chemicals.
  • It is in important product for manufacturing of Power Cable.