Barium Chloride - BaCl2

What is Barium Chloride (BaCl2)?

Barium Chloride is an inorganic salt that is made up of barium cations (Ba+) and chloride anions (Cl).  It is also called Barium Muriate or Barium dichloride. It is a white solid which is water-soluble, hygroscopic and gives a slight yellow-green colour to a flame. The chemical formula of Barium Chloride is BaCl2.

Barium salts are extensively used in the industry. The sulfate is used in white paints, particularly for outside use. Barium chloride is poisonous in nature.

Structure of Barium Chloride (BaCl2)

Structure of Barium Chloride

Structure of Barium Chloride

Properties of Barium Chloride – BaCl2

Barium Chloride BaCl2
Molecular Weight of Barium Chloride 208.23 g/mol (anhydrous)
Density of Barium Chloride 3.856 g/cm3 (anhydrous)
Melting Point of Barium Chloride 962 °C
Boiling point of Barium Chloride 1,560 °C

Barium chloride is quite soluble in water (as is the case with most ionic salts). It is known to dissociate into barium cations and chloride anions in its dissolved state. At a temperature of 20 oC, the solubility of barium chloride in water is roughly equal to 358 grams per litre. However, the solubility of this compound in water is temperature-dependent. At a temperature of 100 oC, the solubility of barium chloride in water is equal to 594 grams per litre. This compound is also soluble in methanol (however, it is not soluble in ethanol).

Barium Chloride

Under standard conditions, barium chloride exists as a white crystalline solid (as shown above). Anhydrous BaCl2 crystallizes in an orthogonal crystal structure. However, the dihydrate form of barium chloride is known to have a monoclinic crystal structure.

Uses of Barium Chloride (BaCl2)

  • Barium Chloride is used as a raw material to produce barium salt.
  • It is used in chlorine-alkali industries.
  • Used in the manufacturing of rubber.
  • It is widely used in oil refining.
  • It is used in the papermaking industry.
  • It is used in the hardening of steel.
  • Used to purify brine solution.

Preparation of Barium Chloride

Industrially, it is obtained in two steps.

Step 1: From barium sulfate at high temperature

BaSO4 + 4 C → BaS + 4 CO

Step 2: From Barium sulfide

BaS + 2 HCl → BaCl2 + H2S

Chlorine can be used instead of hydrochloric acid.

It can also be obtained from barium carbonate or barium hydroxide.

Effects on Health

This compound is toxic when ingested. Magnesium sulfate (MgSO4) and Sodium sulfate (Na2SO4) are probable antidotes as they form BaSO4 (barium sulfate). BaSO4 is comparatively non-toxic due to its insolubility.

Learn more about the physical and chemical properties of Barium Chloride (BaCl2) from the experts at BYJU’S.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

What is barium chloride used for?

The primary industrial application of BaCl2 is in the purification of the brine solutions that are used in caustic chlorine plants. This compound is also used in the case hardening of steel and the production of heat treatment salts. This compound has limited applications due to its high toxicity.

What is the oxidation number of barium and chlorine in BaCl2?

Barium chloride molecules feature an ionic bond between barium cations and chloride anions. Barium is a metal that exhibits an oxidation state of +2 in this ionic salt whereas chlorine is a non-metal which exhibits an oxidation state of -1 in BaCl2.

Is barium chloride toxic?

Yes, like most other salts of barium, BaCl2 is highly toxic to human beings. Exposure to this compound can cause irritation of the eyes, mucous membrane, and skin. Ingestion or inhalation of barium chloride can also prove fatal. Barium chloride can also negatively impact the central nervous system, the cardiovascular system, and the kidneys.

How is barium chloride produced industrially?

The industrial production of barium chloride follows a two-step process. First, barium sulfate (usually in the form of the mineral barite) is reacted with carbon at high temperatures to form barium sulfide and carbon monoxide. Then, the barium sulfide is treated with hydrochloric acid to yield barium chloride along with hydrogen sulfide.

What are the properties of aqueous solutions of BaCl2?

Aqueous solutions of barium chloride have neutral pH values since they contain the cation of a strong base and the anion of a strong acid. When exposed to sulfates, a white precipitate of barium sulfate is obtained.

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