Hydrogen telluride (tellane) is the inorganic compound with the formula H2Te. A hydrogen chalcogenide and the simplest hydride of tellurium, it is a colorless gas. Although unstable in ambient air, the gas can exist at very low concentrations long enough to be readily detected by the odour of rotting garlic at extremely low concentrations; or by the revolting odour of rotting leeks at somewhat higher concentrations. Most compounds with Te–H bonds (tellurols) are unstable with respect to loss of H2. H2Te is chemically and structurally similar to hydrogen selenide, both are acidic. The H–Te–H angle is about 90°. Volatile tellurium compounds often have unpleasant odours, reminiscent of decayed leeks or garlic.
3D model (JSmol)
CompTox Dashboard (EPA)
|Molar mass||129.6158 g mol−1|
|Density||3.310 g/L, gas |
2.57 g/cm3 (−20 °C, liquid)
|Melting point||−49 °C (−56 °F; 224 K)|
|Boiling point||−2.2 °C (28.0 °F; 270.9 K) (unstable above −2 °C)|
|0.70 g/100 mL|
Std enthalpy of
|NFPA 704 (fire diamond)|
|telluric acid |
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Al2Te3 + 6 H2O → 2 Al(OH)3 + 3 H2Te
Other salts of Te2− such as MgTe and sodium telluride can also be used. Na2Te can be made by the reaction of Na and Te in anhydrous ammonia. The intermediate in the hydrolysis, HTe−
, can be isolated as salts as well. NaHTe, can be made by reducing tellurium with NaBH
2Te is an endothermic compound, degrading to the elements at room temperature:
2Te → H
2 + Te
- 2 H
2Te + O
2 → 2 H
2O + 2 Te
It is almost as acidic as phosphoric acid (Ka = 8.1×10−3), having a Ka value of about 2.3×10−3. It reacts with many metals to form tellurides.
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