3/27/2012

Barium

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Barium


Barium is the 56th element in the modern periodic table. . Its symbol is Ba and it


is located in group in the periodic table. Barium is one of the alkaline earth metals. Its


name comes from the Greek word barys witch means heavy or dense. Barium is a silver-


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white, highly reactive, metallic element. It has an atomic mass of 17. amu. The


element’s melting point is 850 ºC and the boiling point is 157 ºC. It has a specific


gravity of .5 at 0ºC . Barium has a density of .51 g/cm³. The element’s hardness is


comparable to that of the lead. It is the only alkaline earth metal that has a body-centered


cubic crystal structure. It has a valence + and has 6 energy levels. Barium is the 14th


most common element and makes up 1/000th of the crust of Earth. Barium was


discovered in 1808 in England by Sir Humphrey Davy.


Barium is never found in nature in an element form. It reacts with almost all the


nonmetals. It is mostly found in the minerals witherite, a barium carbonate( BaCO1) and


barite, a barium sulfate (BaSO4). It is also found in most soils at a low level. Barium


burns easily in the air and reacts with water to produce hydrogen. Barium reduces water


and dilutes acids to hydrogen. When it burns in the air, it produces peroxide, which


produce hydrogen peroxide when treated with water. At room temperature, Barium forms


oxides. All of the water-soluble and acid-soluble barium compounds are poisonous. The


element may spontaneously ignite in moist air. Because it’s extremely reactive, Barium is


never found in pure form and must be stored under kerosene to remain pure.


Barium has uses mostly in medical and industrial applications. In the medical


application, Barium enema is used to detect colon cancer. Radiologists use barium sulfate


to examine a patient’s intestines with a X-rays. When a patient drinks a suspension of


barium sulfate in water or barium enema, the barium sulfate particles temporarily fill the


digestive track. When the X-ray is taken, the intestines and other organs appear white.


The X-ray picture shows clearly the shape of the intestines and other organs outlined against a black background.


In the industrial applications, Barium is used mostly for glass and rubber making.


The Barium Carbonate( BaCO) is used to make glass stronger and as a rat poison.


Chrome yellow ( barium chromate) is used as paint pigment in safety matches. Barium


sulfate’s perfect white color is used as a whitener in photographic papers and as filler in


writing paper, plastic, and artificial fibers. The mixture of barium sulfate and zinc is used


as a bright- white paint pigment called lithopone. Barite is also used as a weighting agent


in oil well drilling fluids. The metal barium is used in a TV picture tubes or is added to


lead alloys for hardening. The addition of barium oxide in glaesern and optical


instruments ( “barite” glasses”) changes the Brechkraft and the dispersion ability. A


nickel barium alloy is used in sparkplug wire and electron tube components. The barium


nitrate (Ba(NO)) is used to give green color to fireworks because barium salts give a


characteristic green color in the flame test. In its element form, Barium is used as a


“scavenger” for oxygen in vacuum tubes. Barium has very important applications in the


medical and industrial fields that make our lives in some way easier.





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