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Lead Nitrate Formula

Last updated date: 16th May 2024
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Chemical Formula of Lead Nitrate

Pb(NO3)2 is the chemical formula for lead nitrate, an inorganic compound. It is commonly found as a colourless crystal or white powder and is water-soluble, unlike most other lead(II) salts.

The production of lead(II) nitrate from either metallic lead or lead oxide in nitric acid, known as plumbum dulce since the Middle Ages, was small-scale, for direct use in the manufacture of other lead compounds. Lead II nitrate formula was first commercially produced in Europe and the United States in the nineteenth century.

Here we will study the chemical formula of lead nitrate and the structural formula of lead nitrate in detail.

Structural Formula of Lead Nitrate

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Lead nitrate is a crystalline solid that is colourless to white and is totally soluble in water but very slightly soluble in alcohol. Lead nitrate was commercially produced in the nineteenth century in nations such as the United States and Europe. It was frequently employed as a basic material in the production of lead paint pigments. It has a wide range of applications, including stability in polyester and nylon, which is employed in photo thermographic paper coatings. 

Physical Properties of Lead Nitrate 

Lead Nitrate chemical formula


Molecular weight 

331.2 g/mol


4.53 g/mL

Appears as

Colourless – White crystals

Melting point 

470 °C

Production of Lead Nitrate 

Lead Nitrate formula is Pb(NO3)2 .

The reaction of lead(II) oxide with strong nitric acid produces lead nitrate:

PbO + 2 HNO3(concentrated) → Pb(NO3)2↓ + H2O

Evaporation of the solution made by reacting metallic lead with weak nitric acid can also be used.

Pb + 4 HNO3 → Pb(NO3)2 + 2 NO2+ 2 H2O

In the processing of lead-bismuth wastes from lead refineries, lead(II) nitrate solutions, and crystals are generated.

How Was the Chemical Formula For Lead Nitrate Discovered?

Neutron diffraction was used to identify the crystal structure of solid lead(II) nitrate.  The lead atoms form a face-centered cubic system as the compound crystallises in the cubic system. Pa3z=4 (Bravais lattice notation) is its space group, and each side of the cube has a length of 784 picometres.

Chemical Properties of Lead Nitrate 

  1. Heating causes lead nitrate to degrade, a feature that has been employed in pyrotechnics. Water and dilute nitric acid are both soluble in it.

  2. When alkali is added to a solution, basic nitrates develop. At low pH, the most common species produced is Pb2(OH)2(NO3)2. Pb6(OH)5(NO3) is generated at higher pH. With an oxide ion inside a cluster of three face-sharing PbO4 tetrahedra, the cation [Pb6O(OH)6]4+ is rare.  The development of the hydroxide, Pb(OH)2, in aqueous solution below pH 12 is not known.

  3. Lead nitrate solutions can be used to make coordination complexes. Lead(II) is a hard acceptor, which means it forms stronger complexes with electron-donating ligands like nitrogen and oxygen. The chemical [Pb(NO3)2(EO5)] was created by mixing lead nitrate with pentaethylene glycol (EO5) in a solution of acetonitrile and methanol followed by gradual evaporation. The EO5 chain is wrapped around the lead ion in an equatorial plane similar to that of a crown ether in the crystal structure of this molecule. The trans configuration of the two bidentate nitrate ligands. With the lead ion in a bicapped square antiprism molecular geometry, the total coordination number is ten.

Applications of Lead Nitrate 

  1. Lead nitrate has been employed as a heat stabiliser in nylon and polyesters, as a photo thermographic paper coating, and as a rodenticide.

  2. The easy way to make nitrogen dioxide is to heat lead nitrate.

  3. 2 Pb(NO3)2 → 2 PbO + 4 NO2 + O2

  4. The addition of lead(II) nitrate solution to the gold cyanidation process improves the leaching process. Only a small amount of lead nitrate (10 to 100 milligrammes per kilogramme gold) is required.

  5. It can be used to create isothiocyanates from dithiocarbamates in organic chemistry. It has been reported that it can be used as a bromide scavenger during SN1 substitution.


In the nineteenth century, lead(II) nitrate was first commercially produced in Europe and the United States. It has a colourless to white appearance and is completely soluble in water, but only very slightly soluble in alcohol. It was commonly used as a starting material in the manufacture of lead paint pigments. Stability in polyester and nylon, which is used in photo thermographic paper coatings, is one of its many applications.

FAQs on Lead Nitrate Formula

1. What Type of Bond is Lead II Nitrate?

Ans: Structure and formula: Pb(NO3)2 is the chemical formula for lead (II) nitrate. 331.2 g/mol is the molar mass. One lead cation Pb2+ and two nitrate anions NO3- combine to form the molecule. The two anions form an ionic bond with the lead cation.

2. What is the Purpose of Lead Nitrate?

Ans: Applications are available. Historically, lead(II) nitrate has been used in the production of matches and special explosives like lead azide, as well as in mordants and pigments (such as lead paints) for dyeing and printing calico and other textiles, and in the production of lead compounds in general.

3. How is Lead Nitrate Removed From Water?

Ans: Treatment processes like ion exchange, distillation, and reverse osmosis can successfully remove nitrate from water. For more information, contact your local health department. Nitrate cannot be removed from water by heating or boiling it.