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.
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