Barium nitrate

Barium nitrate
Barium nitrate
CAS number 10022-31-8 YesY
ChemSpider 23184 YesY
RTECS number CQ9625000
Jmol-3D images Image 1
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
MSDS External MSDS
EU classification Harmful (Xn)
R-phrases R20/22
S-phrases (S2), S28
NFPA 704
NFPA 704.svg
LD50 355 mg/kg (oral, rat)
Supplementary data page
Structure and
n, εr, etc.
Phase behaviour
Solid, liquid, gas
Spectral data UV, IR, NMR, MS
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Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox references

Barium nitrate with chemical formula Ba(NO3)2 is a salt of barium and the nitrate ion.

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.


At elevated temperatures, barium nitrate decomposes to barium oxide, nitrogen dioxide, and oxygen:

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. [1]

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.[2]

Solutions of sulfate salts such as Epsom salts or sodium sulfate may be given as first aid for barium poisoning, as they precipitate the barium as the insoluble (and non-toxic) barium sulfate.

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.


  1. ^ Pradyot Patnaik. Handbook of Inorganic Chemicals. McGraw-Hill, 2002, ISBN 0070494398
  2. ^ Barium Nitrate

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