- Barium nitrate
Barium nitrate Identifiers CAS number ChemSpider RTECS number CQ9625000 Jmol-3D images Image 1 Properties Molecular formula Ba(NO3)2 Molar mass 261.37 g/mol Appearance white crystals Density 3.24 g/cm3 Melting point
590 °C (decomp.)
Solubility in water 4.95 g/100 mL (0 °C)
10.5 g/100 mL (25 °C)
34.4 g/100 mL (100 °C)
Solubility insoluble in alcohol Hazards MSDS External MSDS EU classification Harmful (Xn) R-phrases S-phrases , NFPA 704 LD50 355 mg/kg (oral, rat) Supplementary data page Structure and
n, εr, etc. Thermodynamic
Solid, liquid, gas
Spectral data UV, IR, NMR, MS (what is: /?)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Barium nitrate exists as a white solid at room temperature. It is soluble in water, and like other soluble barium compounds, is toxic and should be handled with care. It occurs naturally as the rare mineral nitrobarite.
Baratol is an explosive composed of barium nitrate, TNT and binder; the high density of barium nitrate results in baratol being quite dense as well. Barium nitrate mixed with aluminium powder, a formula for flash powder, is highly explosive. It is mixed with thermite to form Thermate-TH3, used in military thermite grenades. It is also used in the manufacturing process of barium oxide, the vacuum tube industry and for green fire in pyrotechnics.
Barium nitrate is manufactured by one of two processes. The first involves dissolving small chunks of barium carbonate in nitric acid, allowing any iron impurities to precipitate, then filtered, evaporated, and crystallized. The second requires combining barium chloride with a heated solution of sodium nitrate, causing barium nitrate crystals to separate from the mixture.
- 2Ba(NO3)2 + heat → 2BaO + 4NO2 + O2
In an atmosphere of nitric oxide, thermal decomposition produces barium nitrite. Reactions with soluble metal sulfates or sulfuric acid yield barium sulfate. Many insoluble barium salts, such as the carbonate, oxalate and phosphate of the metal, are precipitated by similar double decomposition reactions. Barium nitrate is an oxidizer and reacts vigorously with common reducing agents. The solid powder, when mixed with many other metals such as aluminium or zinc in their finely divided form, or combined with alloys such as aluminium-magnesium, ignites and explodes on impact. 
Barium nitrate health risks
Like all soluble barium compounds, barium nitrate is toxic by ingestion or inhalation. Symptoms of poisoning include tightness of muscles (especially in the face and neck), vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, muscular tremors, anxiety, weakness, labored breathing, cardiac irregularity, and convulsions. Death may result from cardiac or respiratory failure, and usually occurs a few hours to a few days following exposure to the compound. Barium nitrate may also cause kidney damage.
Inhalation may also cause irritation to the respiratory tract.
While skin or eye contact is less harmful than ingestion or inhalation, it can still result in irritation, itching, redness, and pain.
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