Barium Carbonate

What is Barium Carbonate?

White in colour, Barium Carbonate is a solid element that precipitates from a solution of barium hydroxide and Urea. It has a chemical formula stated as BaCO3. Barium Carbonate is generally toxic in nature and comes in other forms like a mineral form called witherite and it can also be prepared from barytes with the help of precipitation. It can also be seen in glazes of turquoise. It is advisable to take proper protective measures while handling this chemical compound as it’s high toxicity is something that you shouldn’t be messing with. It should be strictly kept under low quality, preferably below 20%. It is also known as Barium Monocarbonate

The Barium Carbonate Formula is BaCO3


Barium Carbonate

Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass

197.34 g/mol


4.29 g/cm3

Melting Point

811 ℃

Boiling Point

1,360 ℃

Chemical Formula



0.02 g/l


Solid Powder





Physical Properties of Barium Carbonate - BaCO3


It is insoluble in water but soluble in most of the acids

Specific Heat


Covalently-Bonded Unit





White Crystals

The above-mentioned table sums up the physical properties of Barium Carbonate.

BaCO3/ Barium Carbonate Structure

(Image to be added soon)

Chemical Properties of Barium Carbonate - BaCO3

  • Calcium salts that are soluble can react with Barium Carbonate to form Barium Sulphate which remains in solution and calcium carbonate. The related chemical reaction is given below:

BaCO3 + CaSO4 → CaCO3 + BaSO4

  • Barium Carbonate can react with Hydrochloric Acid to form Barium Chloride, Water, and Carbon Dioxide.

BaCO3 + 2HCl → BaCl2 + H20 + CO2

Various Uses of Barium Carbonate - BaCO3

  • Being a white insoluble salt that finds its largest usage in the Ceramics Industry, Barium Carbonate is widely used to make ceramic products.

  • It also finds usage as a raw material for Barium oxide (BaO) and Barium peroxide (BaO2)

  • Barium Carbonate is widely used as a rodenticide although its whitish flour-like appearance has resulted in many barium poisoning cases.

  • Some of the major commercial applications of barium carbonate / BaCO3 includes glass, oil-drilling, photographic, ceramic, enamel, barium magnetic materials, paint, brick, and chemical industries. 

  • Barium Carbonate is also used for the manufacturing of electronic ceramics, capacitors, PTC thermistors, and other types of electronic equipment.

  • It is an important raw material for the production of magnetic components and fibre optical glass.

Production Method of BaCO3

  1. Carbonation Method

The process of production of BaCO3 with the carbonation process involves the following:

  • First carbon dioxide is passed through a solution of barium sulfide so that it can carbonize,

  • The barium carbonate slurry obtained from this process is then further subjected to desulphurization wash

  • It is then passed through vacuum filtration, and then dried at 300℃ 

  • The final process involves pulverization before barium carbonate products can be obtained.

The Chemical Reaction

BaS + CO2 + H2O → BaCO3↓+ H2S↑

  1. Metathesis Method

In the Metathesis method, barium sulfide and ammonium carbonate undertake a metathesis reaction resulting in barium carbonate. The end product is then washed, filtered, and dried in order to obtain bismuth products. 

The Chemical Reaction

BaS + (NH4) 2CO3 → BaCO3 ↓ + (NH4) 2S

  1. Poison Nepheline Conversion Method

In this process, soluble barium salt is obtained by reacting witherite with an ammonium salt. The resultant ammonium carbonate is recycled to be used again. This ammonium carbonate is then added into the soluble barium slat obtained earlier to precipitate barium carbonate in refined form. The resultant BaCO3 is then filtered and dried to make barium carbonate based products. 

The Chemical Reaction

BaCl2 + NH4HCO3 + NH4OH → BaCO3 ↓ + 2NH4Cl + H2O

  1. Dry Granulation Method

The process goes as follows:

Barium carbonate obtained from heavy precipitation is sieved and placed within the warehouse of raw materials. It is then stirred well, mixed, and then degassed. The material is then made to go through the rotary feeder. The end product is compressed with rollers into tablets in a thickness of 3.7 to 4 mm. The resultant tablets are then rolled into a sheet in the input granulator and its speed is adjusted accordingly. This gives semi-finished products of barium.

The semi-finished products are subjected to the knife pulse pneumatic conveying method, which the products input into the vibration feeder to sieve. The granulator releases barium carbonate in particles larger than 20 mesh.

  1. Wet Granulation Method

This method uses a precipitation system to filter a cake containing barium rich water in the process of manufacturing. The filter cake should have the capability to control the water content at about 20%. The material is then passed through the action of rotating blades and the material is rapidly mixed. It is then kneaded and mediated to form semi-dense particles/ wet pellets. The wet pellets are then put into the rotary kiln’s direct fire and then sintered at 800-1200℃. Then is it furthered screened, processed through iron removal, weighed, and then packed in particles of barium carbonate.

Interesting Fact:

Barium Carbonate or BaCO3 is also called Whiterite named after William Withering who discovered this white mineral in 1784 from barytes. It generally occurs in the veins of lead ores and is found naturally in a few places.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. How Does Barium Enter and Leave the Human Body?

You may contract barium from hazardous waste sites that can have the chances/ possibility of entering your body while breathing, accidentally eating soil or plant, or drinking polluted water that is rich with barium from the surrounding area. Barium, however, leaves your body within 1-2 weeks in the form of excretion/faeces or urine. 

Therefore it is not considered to be harmful to the human body is handled carefully. There are however several cases of accidental poisoning by BaCO3 or Barium Carbonate. 

2. Why is Barium Carbonate (BaCO3) Widely Used in the Ceramics Industry?

BacO3 is used as an ingredient in the glazes and it acts as a flux, matting, and crystallizing agent. It also combines and reacts with specific coloring oxides that produce unique colours not attainable by any other means. This rare and unique occurrence makes it highly valuable for any simple or complex production process in the ceramics industry.