Barium nitrate

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Barium nitrate
Barium nitrate.jpg
Barium nitrate crystals
IUPAC name
Barium nitrate
Systematic IUPAC name
Barium nitrate
Other names
Barium dinitrate
Jmol-3D images Image
Molar mass 261.337 g/mol
Appearance White hygroscopic solid
Odor Odorless
Density 3.24 g/cm3
Melting point 592 °C (1,098 °F; 865 K) (decomposes)
Boiling point Decomposes
4.95 g/100 mL (0 °C)
10.5 g/100 mL (25 °C)
34.4 g/100 mL (100 °C)
Solubility Insoluble in alcohols, halocarbons, hydrocarbons
Vapor pressure ~0 mmHg
Safety data sheet Sigma-Aldrich
Flash point Non-flamable
Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):
187 mg/kg (rat, oral)
Related compounds
Related compounds
Barium nitrite
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Infobox references

Barium nitrate is a chemical compound with the formula Ba(NO3)2, mainly used as an oxidizer.



When heated at temperatures over 592 °C, barium nitrate decomposes to give off nitrogen dioxide fumes and oxygen:

Ba(NO3)2 → BaO + 2 NO2 + ½ O2

If barium nitrate is heated in an atmosphere of nitric oxide, barium nitrite (Ba(NO2)2) results:

Ba(NO3)2 + 2 NO → Ba(NO2)2 + 2 NO2

If dry finely powdered barium nitrate is added to concentrated sulfuric acid, barium sulfate will precipitate, and nearly anhydrous nitric acid will be produced.


Barium nitrate is an odorless white hygroscopic solid, slightly soluble in water and insoluble in alcohols.


Barium nitrate can be found in many common sparklers. The sparkler paste consists of barium nitrate, aluminium + magnesium powders (sometimes iron), pressed together with a glue. The barium nitrate can be extracted by dissolving the sparkler paste with an organic solvent, followed by rinsing the resulting glue-free powder with COLD water. Do not use warm or hot water, as it will react with the magnesium and aluminium powder to form a gel which is a pain to remove. The barium nitrate solution is filtered and recrystallized.

Barium nitrate also occurs naturally as the rare mineral nitrobarite.


Barium nitrate can be prepared by reacting barium oxide, hydroxide or carbonate with nitric acid and recrystallizing it from the resulting solution.

It can also be prepared by reacting barium chloride with sodium nitrate or silver nitrate, followed by filtering and recrystallizing the barium nitrate from the filtered solution.

Make sure that your nitrate source is very pure, as any sulfate present will cause the barium to precipitate out of the solution.


  • Make flash powders
  • Thermite booster
  • Make Thermate-TH3
  • Make Baratol



Barium nitrate is a strong oxidizer and will ignite many combustible materials if heated with an open flame.

Barium nitrate is somewhat soluble in water, which makes it toxic. Solutions of soluble sulfate salts, such as Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) or sodium sulfate may be given as first aid for barium poisoning, as they precipitate the soluble barium to the insoluble (and non-toxic) barium sulfate.


Barium nitrate should be stored in closed bottles, away from moisture and flammable materials as well as acidic vapors. A glass or plastic bottle with cap is good enough.


Barium nitrate should be converted to the less toxic barium sulfate and dumped in trash or recycled if possible.



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