Barium Sulfate - BaSO4

It is an inorganic compound with the chemical name Barium Sulfate.

Barium Sulfate is made up of two components: a barium cation and the sulfate anion. The sulfur is attached to four oxygen atoms. BaSO4 is a sulfate salt of barium and it can be found in the form of mineral barite. It is a crystalline solid white in colour which is insoluble in water and alcohol but soluble in concentrated acids. It is odourless.

Barium Sulfate is an alkaline, divalent metal. It is non-toxic and is safe for medical use. It is widely used in the production of oil and natural gas to get high-density drilling fluids by keeping the boreholes free of rock.

Properties of Barium Sulphate

Barium Sulphate Formula


Molecular Mass of Barium Sulphate




Melting Point

1580  0C

Soluble in

1600 0 C



Physical properties

Pure barium sulfate is found as a white, odourless powder or small crystals with a density of 4.49 g/mL, the melting point of 1580 °C and boiling point of 1600 °C.

Chemical properties

 Barium sulfate is said to have extremely poor solubility in the universal solvent water. It is also insoluble in alcohols, and soluble in concentrated acids. It reacts violently with aluminium powder. Barium sulfate has numerous medical and radio imaging uses due to its water insolubility and radio-opaque properties.

Barium Sulphate Uses

  1. Barium sulfate is a contrast agent. Barium sulfate starts functioning by coating the inside of your oesophagus, stomach, or intestines which allows them to be seen more clearly on a CT scan or other radiologic (x-ray) examination.

  2. Barium sulfate is taken into use to help diagnose certain disorders of the oesophagus, stomach, or intestines.

  3. Barium sulfate may also be used for some other factors not listed in this medication guide. Drilling fluids

  4. About 80% of the world's barium sulfate production, mostly purified mineral, is consumed as a component of oil well drilling fluid. It increases the density of the fluid, increasing the hydrostatic pressure in the well and reducing the chance of a blowout.

  5. Radiocontrast agent

Barium Sulfate Suspension 

Barium sulfate in suspension is every now and again utilized medicinally as a radiocontrast specialist for X-ray imaging and other indicative strategies. It is regularly utilized in imaging of the GI tract during what is casually known as a "barium meal". It is managed orally, or by bowel purge, as a suspension of fine particles in a thick milk-like arrangement (frequently with sweetening and seasoning agents added). In spite of the fact that barium is a heavy metal, and its water-solvent mixes are usually poisonous, the low dissolvability of barium sulfate shields the patient from engrossing destructive measures of the metal. Barium sulfate is likewise promptly expelled from the body, dissimilar to Thorotrast, which it replaced. Because of the high nuclear number (Z = 56) of barium, its compounds ingest X-rays more unequivocally than compounds derived from lighter nuclei. 


Most manufactured barium sulfate is utilized as a part of white color for paints. In oil paint, barium sulfate is practically transparent, and is utilized as a filler or to alter the consistency. One significant producer of artists' oil paint sells "perpetual white" that contains a blend of titanium white shade (TiO2) and barium sulfate. The blend of barium sulfate and zinc sulfide (ZnS) is the inorganic pigment called lithopone. In photography, it is utilized as a covering for certain photographic papers. 

Barium Sulfate Side Effects 

You should go for emergency medical assistance in the event that you have indications of a hypersensitive response: hives; troublesome breathing; expanding of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  1. severe stomach pain;

  2. severe cramping, diarrhoea, or constipation;

  3. ringing in your ears;

  4. sweating, confusion, fast heart rate; or

  5. pale skin, blue-coloured skin, weakness.

  6. mild stomach cramps

  7. nausea, vomiting; or

  8. loose stools or mild constipation.

Barium Sulfate Formula

Barium sulfate is a significant inorganic chemical with several applications, including medical uses.

Structure and Formula of barium sulfate: The chemical formula of barium sulfate is BaSO4 and its molar mass is 233.43 g/mol. It is a salt made up of the barium cation (Ba2+) and the sulfate anion (SO42-), in which sulfur is joined to four oxygen atoms. The barium metal is present in the +2-oxidation state. The chemical structure of barium sulfate is shown as below:


Image will be uploaded soon


Occurrence: Barium sulfate occurs naturally as the mineral barite, which is widely found and can be considered as the major source of barium and other barium compounds

Image will be uploaded soon

Did You Know?

  • Barium Sulphate is insoluble in water. If under certain conditions it was made to dissolve in the water the solution will be very toxic.

  • Barium Sulphate is commonly used to perform X-rays of the stomach and intestines.

  • It is also used extensively in paints and in the making of glasses. 

  • Did you know what gives your fireworks green colour? It is the presence of Barium Nitrate that gives it a flashy green colour upon burst.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. How do we prepare BaSO4?

Barium sulfate is found in commercial amounts from the mineral barite, after mining and processing. In order to manufacture an impure barite is to heat it using coke or also known as carbon in order to form the water-soluble barium sulfide (BaS), which is then separated from the filths and reacted with sulfuric acid to give the product of pure barium sulfate product:

BaSO4 + 4 C → BaS + 4 CO

BaS + H2SO4 → BaSO4 + H2S

A second method to obtain the pure form of barium sulphate is to initiate a reaction between barium carbonate or barium chloride with sulphuric acid.

2. Is barium Sulphate soluble or insoluble in water?

is insoluble in water because it has high lattice enthalpy and its hydration enthalpy decreases more rapidly than lattice enthalpy on dissolving in water. And for a compound to be soluble it's lattice enthalpy should be low-slung and it should decline more rapidly than hydration enthalpy. Now, as we know that Ba and SO4 are both big and bigger in size hence they will stabilize bigger anions meticulously.