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What is gallium sulfate?

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Gallium sulfate is an inorganic compound with a molar mass of 427.63 grams. It has the chemical formula Ga2(SO4)3 and is comprised of two gallium atoms bonded to three sulfate ions. The overall charge of the compound is neutral, with each gallium atom having a charge of +3 and each sulfate ion having a charge of -2.

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Gallium sulfate exists as a solid, white powder at room temperature and has a boiling point of 626 degrees Fahrenheit. Like other metal sulfate compounds, gallium sulfate is soluble in water and can be used in water treatment facilities. This compound is also a strong source of gallium ions. Pure gallium is not found in nature; it is typically extracted from rock as a gallium(III) complex with either zinc or bauxite.

Elemental gallium is classified as a post-transitional metal and, like several other metals, can have multiple charged states. Gallium can have a charge of either +2 or +3, and can form bonds with sulfur atoms in either state to create gallium(II) sulfide or gallium(III) sulfide. Though gallium(III) sulfide contains a gallium with a charge of +3 and sulfur like gallium sulfate, gallium(III) sulfide is used as a semiconductor rather than in water treatment.

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