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Barium acetate (Ba(C2H3O2)2) is the salt of barium(II) and acetic acid.

Barium acetate[1]
Barium acetate.png
IUPAC name
Barium acetate
Other names
Barium diacetate
3D model (JSmol)
Abbreviations Ba(OAc)2
ECHA InfoCard 100.008.045
EC Number
  • 208-849-0
RTECS number
  • AF4550000
Molar mass 255.415 g·mol−1
Appearance White solid
Odor odorless
Density 2.468 g/cm3 (anhydrous)
2.19 g/cm3 (monohydrate)
Melting point 450 °C (842 °F; 723 K)
55.8 g/100 mL (0 °C)
72 g/100mL (20 °C)
Solubility slightly soluble in ethanol
-100.1·10−6 cm3/mol (2H2O)
Main hazards Toxic, hazardous on ingestion
NFPA 704
Flammability code 0: Will not burn. E.g. waterHealth code 3: Short exposure could cause serious temporary or residual injury. E.g. chlorine gasReactivity code 0: Normally stable, even under fire exposure conditions, and is not reactive with water. E.g. liquid nitrogenSpecial hazards (white): no codeNFPA 704 four-colored diamond
Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):
921 mg/kg (oral, rat)
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references


Barium acetate is generally produced by the reaction of acetic acid with barium carbonate:[2]

BaCO3 + 2 CH3COOH → (CH3COO)2Ba + CO2 + H2O

The reaction is performed in solution and the barium acetate crystallizes out. Alternatively, barium sulfide can be used:[2]

BaS + 2 CH3COOH → (CH3COO)2Ba + H2S

Again, the solvent is evaporated off and the barium acetate crystallized.


Barium acetate is a white powder, which is highly soluble: at 0 °C, 55.8 g of barium acetate can be dissolved in 100 g of water. It decomposes upon heating into barium carbonate.[citation needed]


When heated in air, barium acetate decomposes to the carbonate. It reacts with acids: reaction with sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid and nitric acid give the sulfate, chloride and nitrate respectively.[citation needed]


Barium acetate is used as a mordant for printing textile fabrics, for drying paints and varnishes and in lubricating oil. In chemistry, it is used in the preparation of other acetates; and as a catalyst in organic synthesis.[citation needed]

A powerful poison, it was featured in a 2001 episode of the television series Forensic Files, recounting the 1993 murder of a man by his teenaged daughter (Marie Robards), though the episode and other crime documentary shows examining the Robards case willfully excluded the words "barium acetate" in hopes of preventing future "copycat" crimes. The print media, and a 2014 episode of the crime documentary series Redrum, have not been so circumspect. Also named as the choice poison of a teen's murder of her father in Deadly Women "Parents Peril", S6 E2.[citation needed]


  1. ^ [1], JT Baker
  2. ^ a b Barium acetate Archived June 28, 2009, at the Wayback Machine,, retrieved 30 June 2009

Further readingEdit

  • I. Gautier-Luneau; A. Mosset (1988). "Crystal structure of anhydrous barium acetate". Journal of Solid State Chemistry. 73 (2): 473–479. Bibcode:1988JSSCh..73..473G. doi:10.1016/0022-4596(88)90133-8.
  • After husband's body was found burned, woman is suspected of poisoning another man