Barium acetate

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Barium acetate[1]
Barium acetate.png
IUPAC name
Barium acetate
Other names
Barium diacetate
3D model (Jmol)
Abbreviations Ba(OAc)2
ECHA InfoCard 100.008.045
EC Number 208-849-0
RTECS number AF4550000
Molar mass 255.42 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 Hazardous on ingestion
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 (Ba(C2H3O2)2) is the salt of barium(II) and acetic acid.


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

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

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

BaS + 2CH3COOH → (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.


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.

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.


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

Further reading[edit]