Oxides for the heart of batteries.

High-tech facility for producing lead oxides

Colorobbia Italia S.p.A. is a leading manufacturer of red lead in Europe. It is a Colorobbia Group company that has been operating in the ceramic industry for over 100 years.

We have a high-tech facility at our plant in Sovigliana Vinci, near Florence, for producing lead oxides. The products are supplied globally.

Red lead oxide is a bright red to orange powder commonly used in the production of lead glass, ceramics and as a component in lead acid battery plates.

Chemically, Red lead oxide is lead tetroxide (chemical formula Pb3O4). It is a water-insoluble compound made by oxidising metallic lead or reducing lead monoxide.

The applications of Red lead oxide

Today, the main application of Red lead oxide is in lead-acid batteries. Capitalising on the experience gained since the turn of the century, we can handle all the specifications that our customers require also using specific instruments.

Red lead oxide is also used as a primer for protecting constructions (such as bridges or ships) in direct contact with salty water.

Red lead is practically insoluble in water and alcohol. It dissolves in hydrochloric acid, glacial acetic acid and diluted mixtures of nitric acid and hydrogen peroxide.

The main uses of lead tetroxide (Pb3O4)


Lead batteries


Lead glass

Optical glass

The Red lead oxide process

The plant processes metal Pb using the traditional Barton process to make Massicot as the first step. The powder is then refined to “specialise” it according to the production schedule.

The process begins with the introduction of ingots of lead metal with a minimum purity of 99.985%. Once the metal has melted and the required fineness and oxide content has been obtained, the powder or granules (granulated or ground, if required) are sent to the daily bins by means of a conveying system for bagging or to external bins where the oxide is handled in bulk form.