Barium oxide is an extremely insoluble thermally stable barium source suitable for glass, optic, and ceramic applications. Furthermore, it is a white hygroscopic solid that often form through the decomposition of barium salts. When it reacts with water it forms barium hydroxide. The compound is not conductive to electricity just like all the other oxide compounds. On the other hand, certain perovskite structured oxides are electrically conductive finding applications in the cathode of solid oxide fuel cells and oxygen generation systems. These compounds contain at least one metallic cation and one oxygen anion. Learn Barium Oxide Formula here.
Typically, they are insoluble in aqueous solutions (water) and very stable making them useful in porcelain structures as simple as producing clay bowls to progressive electronics. It is lightweight that’s why we use its structural components in aerospace and electrochemical applications such as fuel cells in which they show ionic conductivity.
Barium Oxide Formula and Structure
The chemical formula of barium oxide is BaO2. Its structure is cubic and we use it in cathode ray tubes, crown glass, and catalysts. Its molar mass is 153.33 g/mol.
Occurrence of barium oxide
In nature, we always find it in a combined state with other elements as it does not exist freely.
Properties of barium oxide
It is a white hygroscopic solid that is soluble in water. It reacts easily with air and water and forms barium oxide and barium hydroxide respectively. Moreover, its melting point is 1920 oC and the Boiling point is 2000 oC. Furthermore, its density is 5.72 g/mL. Also, it is a non-flammable compound.
Preparation of barium oxide
The easiest method to prepare barium oxide is by heating barium carbonate with coke, tar, carbon black or by thermal decomposition of barium nitrate. Often it forms through the decomposition of other barium salts.
Uses of barium oxide
We use it as a coating for hot cathodes that we use in cathode ray tubes. It replaces lead (II) oxide in the production of certain kinds of glass such as optical crown glass. Whereas lead oxide raises the refractive index and it also raises the dispersive power than barium oxide does not alter. In addition, we use it in the reaction of ethylene oxide and alcohol as an ethoxylation catalyst, which takes place between 150 and 200 oC.
Through heat fluctuation, it is also a source of pure oxygen. In addition, it freely oxidizes to BaO2 by the formation of peroxide ion. Furthermore, the complete peroxidation of BaO to BaO2 decomposes befalls at a moderate temperature but the increasing entropy of the O2 molecule at high temperatures means that BaO2 decomposes to O2 and BaO at 902 oC.
This method was earlier used to produce oxygen before the air separation became the dominant method at the beginning of the 20th century. This method is named the Brin process after its inventor.
The availability of barium oxide is in pellets, pieces, powder, sputtering targets, tablets, and nanopowder. Generally, it is instantly available in greatest volumes such as high purity, ultra-high purity, submicron, and nanopowder forms.
Barium oxide safety hazards
It causes irritation if comes in contact with the skin and eyes. Also, if inhaled it causes pain and redness. Nevertheless, it is highly dangerous if ingested. Then it can cause diarrhea, muscle paralysis, nausea, cardiac arrhythmia and can cause death. If someone consumes it then medical attention should be immediately sought.
Solved example for you
Question: How to prepare barium oxide?
Solution: we can prepare barium oxide by two methods:
- In this reaction, barium reacts with oxygen to form barium oxide:
2Ba + O2 → 2BaO
- In this reaction, we prepare barium oxide by heating barium carbonate:
BaCO3 → BaO + CO2