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|Jmol-3D images||Image 1|
|Molar mass||261.337 g/mol|
|Appearance||white, lustrous crystals|
592 °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|
|Refractive index (nD)||1.5659|
|EU classification||Harmful (Xn)|
|LD50||355 mg/kg (oral, rat)|
|Supplementary data page|
|n, εr, etc.|
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. Barium nitrate's properties make it suitable for us in various military applications, including thermite grenades and incendiary ammunition.
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. 
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. Barium nitrate was also a primary ingredient in the "SR 365" incendiary charge used by the British in the De Wilde incendiary ammunition with which they armed their interceptor fighters, such as the Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire, during the Battle of Britain. It is also used in the manufacturing process of barium oxide, the vacuum tube industry and for green fire in pyrotechnics. Barium nitrate is the main ingredient in sparklers. It is not explosive alone; it only ignites producing a bright blue-red fire.
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.
- Pradyot Patnaik. Handbook of Inorganic Chemicals. McGraw-Hill, 2002, ISBN 0-07-049439-8
- Williams, Anthony G; Emmanuel Gustin (2004). "THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN: ARMAMENT OF THE COMPETING FIGHTERS". Flying Guns: World War 2. Crowood Press. Retrieved 23 December 2012. "The B. Mk VI 'De Wilde' incendiary (named after the original Belgian inventor but in fact completely redesigned by Major Dixon), which contained 0.5 grams of SR 365 (a composition including barium nitrate which ignited on impact with the target) was twice as effective as these, scoring one in five."
- Barium Nitrate