Bismuth subcarbonate

Bismuth subcarbonate
Bismuth subcarbonate
CAS number 5892-10-4
Molecular formula Bi2O2(CO3)
Molar mass 509.97 g/mol
Appearance fine white to pale yellow-white powder
Density 6.86 g/cm3
Boiling point


Solubility in water insoluble
NFPA 704
NFPA 704.svg
 YesY subcarbonate (verify) (what is: YesY/N?)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox references

Bismuth subcarbonate Bi2O2(CO3), sometimes written (BiO)2CO3 is a chemical compound of bismuth containing both oxide and carbonate anions. Bismuth is in the +3 oxidation state. Bismuth subcarbonate occurs naturally as the mineral bismutite. Its structure[1] consists of Bi-O layers and CO3 layers and is related to kettnerite, CaBi(CO3)OF. It is light sensitive.



It is highly radiopaque and for example is used as a filler in radiopaque catheters which can be seen by x-ray.[2] In modern medicine, bismuth subcarbonate has been made into nanotube arrays that exhibit antibacterial properties.[3] It is also used in fireworks [4] to make Dragon's eggs. It is a constituent of milk of bismuth which was a popular digestive tract panacea in the 1930s[5]


Bismuth subcarbonate may be harmful if swallowed. It may irritate the respiratory and gastrointestinal tract.


  1. ^ Joel D. Grice (2002). "A Solution to the crystal structures of bismutite and beyerite". The Canadian Mineralogist 40 (2): 693–698. doi:10.2113/gscanmin.40.2.693. 
  2. ^ Flexible, highly radiopaque plastic material catheter - Patent 5300048
  3. ^ Rong Chen, Man Ho So, Jun Yang, Feng Deng, Chi-Ming Che and Hongzhe Sun (2006). "Fabrication of bismuth subcarbonate nanotube arrays from bismuth citrate". Chem. Commun. (21): 2265–2267. doi:10.1039/b601764a. PMID 16718324. 
  4. ^ How To Make Cheaper Crackling Firework Stars (Dragon Eggs) With Bismuth Subcarbonate
  5. ^ Park & Davis Co catalog entry for milk of bismuth

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • bismuth subcarbonate — bismuth sub·car·bon·ate .səb kär bə .nāt, nət n a white or pale yellowish white powder that is a basic salt of varying composition obtained by reaction of a carbonate with a bismuth salt and used chiefly in treating gastrointestinal disorders,… …   Medical dictionary

  • bismuth subcarbonate — noun : a basic salt obtained as a white powder of varying composition by reaction of a carbonate with a bismuth salt (as bismuth subnitrate) and used chiefly in treating gastrointestinal disorders and in cosmetics …   Useful english dictionary

  • Bismuth — (pronEng|ˈbɪzməθ) is a chemical element that has the symbol Bi and atomic number 83. This heavy, brittle, white crystalline trivalent poor metal has a pink tinge and chemically resembles arsenic and antimony. Of all the metals, it is the most… …   Wikipedia

  • bismuth subnitrate — n a white bismuth containing powder Bi5O(OH)9(NO3)4 used in medicine similarly to bismuth subcarbonate * * * [USP] a basic salt, used as a pharmaceutic necessity in the preparation of compound resorcinol ointment …   Medical dictionary

  • subcarbonate — A mixture or complex of a base and its carbonate. * * * subcarbonate see BISMUTH SUBCARBONATE * * * sub·car·bo·nate (səb kahrґbo nāt) any basic carbonate …   Medical dictionary

  • bismuth subgallate — [USP] a salt of bismuth that has been used similarly to bismuth subcarbonate …   Medical dictionary

  • bismuth subnitrate — noun : a basic salt or usually a mixture of basic salts obtained as a white powder from normal bismuth nitrate (as by reaction with sodium bicarbonate) and used similarly to bismuth subcarbonate and also in ceramics …   Useful english dictionary

  • subcarbonate — “+ noun Etymology: sub + carbonate : a basic carbonate (as bismuth subcarbonate) …   Useful english dictionary

  • bismuth — A trivalent metallic element; atomic no. 83, atomic wt. 20.98037. Several of its salts are used in medicine; some contain BiO+, rather than Bi3+, and are called subsalts. [Ger. Wismut, weisse Masse, white mass] b. aluminate a gastric antacid. SYN …   Medical dictionary

  • basic bismuth carbonate — bismuth subcarbonate [USP] a salt of bismuth that has been used as an antacid and mild astringent in relief of inflammatory diseases of the stomach and intestines, and also as a topical skin protectant …   Medical dictionary

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