Lead Acetate - Pb(C2H3O2)2

What is Lead Acetate?

Lead Acetate is also known as lead(II) acetate, is a white crystalline chemical compound with the formula Pb(C2H3O2)2.

Lead Acetate is poisonous in nature. It is used in making white lead in medicines and as a mordant in dyeing. Lead acetate was first produced in the United States in 1944. Lead belongs to the group IV A elements and most of the compounds of lead have +2 state. Lead acetate is stable under ordinary conditions of use and storage.

Lead acetate, also known as sugar of lead, is a white crystal made by the action of acetic acid on litharge. Lead acetate is used in gold toning baths to modify the pH.

Other names – Lead diacetate, Lead(II) acetate

Pb(C2H3O2)2 Lead Acetate
Density 3.25 g/cm³
Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass 325.29 g/mol
Hydrogen Bond Acceptor 4
Melting Point 280 °C
Chemical Formula Pb(C2H3O2)2

Table of Contents

Lead Acetate Structure – Pb(C2H3O2)2

Lead Acetate Structure

Lead Acetate Structure

Physical Properties of Lead Acetate – Pb(C2H3O2)2

Odour No odour
Appearance White to gray crystalline solid
Covalently-Bonded Unit 3
Heat of formation 298.15 KkJ/mol
Complexity 25.5
Solubility Soluble in water

Chemical Properties of Lead Acetate – Pb(C2H3O2)2

    • Lead acetate reacts with hydrogen sulfide to form lead sulfide and acetic acid. The chemical equation is given below.

Pb(C2H3O2)2 + H2S → PbS + 2HC2H3O2

    • Lead acetate reacts with potassium chromate form lead chromate and potassium acetate. The chemical equation is given below.

K2CrO4 + Pb(C2H3O2)2 → PbCrO4 + 2KC2H3O2

Uses of Lead Acetate – Pb(C2H3O2)2

  • Used as a water repellent, for mildew protection, and as a mordant for cotton dyes.
  • Used as an analytical reagent in varnishes, chromium pigments, and in asbestos clutches or brake linings, lead chloride is used.
  • Used as a catalyst and as a flame retardant.
  • Used in printing and dyeing operations.
  • Used as a secret ingredient used to sweeten wine and preserve fruit.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the use of lead acetate?

Lead acetate is used in silk printing and dyeing as a mordant, as a dryer in paints and varnishes, and in the preparation of other lead compounds.


Is Lead acetate dangerous?

Acetate from lead can cause serious health problems. Several health risks posed include lung inflammation, stomach pain, diarrhea, elevated blood and urine lead rates, cancer, and, in the most extreme cases, even death. Thus lead acetate is not used as a sweetener any more.


How do you identify lead acetate?

Lead(II) acetate, Pb(CH3COO)2, is a white crystalline material with a sweet taste and is also classified by one of the following trivial names: lead sugar, Saturn salt and Goulard powder, respectively. Lead acetate is water and glycerin soluble, and is toxic (like most lead compounds).


Is Lead acetate acidic or basic?

The base acetate ion is found in both lead acetate and potassium acetate solutions; it is basic since its conjugate acid, acetic acid, is a weak acid.


What does lead acetate taste like?

Lead acetate, also known as lead sugar, is a salt that (ironically) has a sweet flavor in poisons of fairly rare nature, and is more likely to taste sour, signaling to the taster that they are unsafe for consumption.

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