Barium

3.62
137.327
[Xe] 6s2
138Ba
2
6
s
56
2, 8, 18, 18, 8, 2
502.849
Ba
3.62
727°C, 1341°F, 1000 K
1845°C, 3353°F, 2118 K
Humphry Davy
1808
7440-39-3
4511436
More Information
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Uses and Properties

Image Explanation

A Barium swallow test is a valuable diagnostic tool that provides insights into the upper gastrointestinal tract's structure and function. By visualizing the movement of barium through the esophagus and stomach, healthcare professionals can identify and address a range of conditions affecting the digestive system. The information gathered from this test plays a crucial role in tailoring effective treatment plans and improving the overall management of upper GI disorders.

Appearance

Barium is a soft, silvery metal that rapidly tarnishes in air and reacts with water.

Uses

Barium - Illuminating Medical Diagnostics and Beyond


In the vast realm of elements, Barium, denoted by the symbol Ba, stands out as a versatile and indispensable element with applications that extend far beyond its presence in the periodic table. From medical diagnostics to industrial processes, Barium plays a pivotal role in various fields, contributing to advancements that impact our daily lives. This article explores the diverse uses of Barium, shedding light on its multifaceted contributions.

 

1. Medical Imaging: A Radiant Tool in Diagnosis


One of the primary applications of Barium is in the realm of medical imaging, where it serves as a contrast agent in various diagnostic procedures. Barium sulfate, a compound derived from Barium, is employed in imaging tests such as barium swallow, barium enema, and certain types of X-rays. The high atomic number of Barium makes it an excellent absorber of X-rays, enhancing the visibility of soft tissues in the gastrointestinal tract. These imaging techniques are instrumental in diagnosing conditions like gastrointestinal disorders, ulcers, and tumors.

 

2. Oil and Gas Exploration: Drilling Fluid Innovations


Barium's heavy density and unique chemical properties find applications in the oil and gas industry, particularly in drilling fluids. Barite, a mineral composed of Barium sulfate, is used as a weighting agent in drilling muds. The addition of Barite to drilling fluids helps control well pressure, prevent blowouts, and stabilize the wellbore. This application ensures the safety and efficiency of drilling operations, making Barium a crucial component in the exploration of oil and gas reserves.

 

3. Fireworks and Pyrotechnics: Crafting Dazzling Displays


Barium compounds contribute to the vibrant colors seen in fireworks displays. Barium nitrate, when ignited, imparts a green hue to the fireworks. The controlled combustion of Barium compounds allows pyrotechnicians to create dazzling and visually appealing spectacles during celebrations and events. The use of Barium in pyrotechnics showcases its ability to add both color and excitement to festive occasions.

 

4. Electronics and Cathode Ray Tubes (CRTs): Precision in Display Technology


Barium finds its way into the realm of electronics, specifically in the manufacturing of cathode ray tubes (CRTs). Barium oxide, known for its electron-emitting properties, is used as a coating on the cathode in these tubes. This application enhances the efficiency of electron emission, contributing to the production of clearer and more precise images in older television and computer monitor technologies.

 

5. Barium Titanate in Electronics: Advancing Capacitor Technology


Barium titanate, a ferroelectric ceramic material, is widely used in the electronics industry. Its unique properties, including high dielectric constant and piezoelectric behavior, make it valuable in the production of capacitors. Barium titanate capacitors are utilized in electronic devices, contributing to energy storage and signal processing. This application highlights Barium's role in advancing electronic components critical to modern technology.

 

6. Glass and Ceramics: Enhancing Material Properties


Barium compounds are incorporated into glass and ceramics to enhance certain material properties. Barium oxide, for example, is used as a fluxing agent in the production of glass. This contributes to the reduction of melting temperatures and improves the optical and physical properties of the glass. In ceramics, Barium carbonate is employed to achieve unique glaze effects, demonstrating its role in shaping the aesthetics of artistic and functional ceramics.

 

7. Rat Poison: A Darker Application


While Barium's applications contribute to various industries, it's important to note a more cautionary use. Barium carbonate, due to its toxicity, has historically been used as a component in rat poison. However, the use of Barium in this context has diminished over time, with safer alternatives being more widely adopted for pest control.

 

8. Radiology Shielding: Protecting Against Harmful Radiation


Barium is utilized in the production of protective shields for radiology. These shields, often made from Barium-containing materials, help protect healthcare professionals and patients from unnecessary radiation exposure during medical imaging procedures. This application underscores Barium's role in promoting safety within the healthcare industry.

 

Conclusion: Barium - An Element of Versatility and Impact


As we delve into the diverse applications of Barium, it becomes evident that this element plays a pivotal role in shaping various industries and technologies. From its indispensable role in medical diagnostics to its contributions in drilling fluids, electronics, and even the artistry of fireworks, Barium's versatility is a testament to its significance in our modern world. As research and innovation progress, Barium's applications may continue to evolve, further highlighting its enduring impact across multiple domains.

History

In the grand tapestry of the periodic table, Barium, denoted by the chemical symbol Ba, emerges as a fascinating element with a rich history that unfolds over centuries. From its discovery to its diverse applications in various fields, the story of Barium is one of scientific inquiry, industrial innovation, and contributions to human progress. This article unravels the historical narrative of Barium, exploring its journey from obscurity to prominence.

 

1. Discovery: Unearthing a Hidden Treasure in the 17th Century


The history of Barium dates back to the 17th century when the German alchemist Johann Rudolf Glauber first recognized a new mineral in the mines of Bologna, Italy. This mineral, later identified as Barite or Barium sulfate, showcased unique properties when heated with carbon. Although Glauber himself did not isolate the element, his observations laid the groundwork for subsequent investigations into the nature of this mysterious substance.

 

2. Carl Wilhelm Scheele's Contribution: Identifying a New Earth


In the late 18th century, the Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele made significant contributions to the understanding of Barium. Scheele, known for his explorations into the properties of various elements, isolated Barium oxide by heating Barite with charcoal. He termed this newfound substance "barote" and further investigated its properties, recognizing it as a distinct earth.

 

3. Sir Humphry Davy's Electrochemical Advances: Isolating Metallic Barium


The true isolation of metallic Barium awaited the 19th century and the pioneering work of Sir Humphry Davy, the English chemist renowned for his electrochemical investigations. In 1808, Davy successfully isolated Barium through the electrolysis of molten Barium salts. This breakthrough marked the official discovery of Barium as a metallic element and opened the door to further exploration of its properties.

 

4. Barium's Role in Medicine: A Radiant Breakthrough in the 20th Century


The 20th century witnessed a transformative application of Barium in the field of medicine. Barium sulfate, due to its ability to absorb X-rays effectively, became a crucial contrast agent in medical imaging. Barium swallow and barium enema procedures, developed in the mid-20th century, allowed healthcare professionals to visualize the gastrointestinal tract with unprecedented clarity. This breakthrough greatly enhanced the diagnosis of conditions such as ulcers, tumors, and gastrointestinal abnormalities.

 

5. Barium in Industry: Catalyzing Innovation


As industrialization surged, Barium found its way into various industrial processes. Barium carbonate became a key component in the production of specialty glass, ceramics, and glazes. The addition of Barium compounds to these materials imparted unique properties, influencing both aesthetic and functional aspects in diverse applications.

 

6. Oil and Gas Exploration: Barium's Weighty Contribution


Barium's significance extended into the oil and gas industry, particularly in drilling fluids. Barite, derived from Barium sulfate, proved to be an ideal weighting agent in drilling muds. The addition of Barite helped control well pressure, stabilize the wellbore, and prevent blowouts during drilling operations. Barium's contribution in this context played a vital role in ensuring the safety and efficiency of oil and gas exploration.

 

7. Electronics and Cathode Ray Tubes: Shaping Visual Technology


The mid-20th century saw Barium making inroads into the realm of electronics. Barium oxide, with its electron-emitting properties, became a key component in the production of cathode ray tubes (CRTs). These tubes, used in older television and computer monitors, relied on Barium's unique characteristics to produce clear and precise images, influencing the visual technology landscape.

 

8. Barium Today: A Versatile Element in Modern Applications


In contemporary times, Barium continues to be a cornerstone in various applications, from medical diagnostics to industrial processes. Ongoing research explores new avenues, such as the development of advanced materials and sustainable technologies, ensuring that Barium remains a dynamic element with enduring relevance.

 

Conclusion: Barium - An Element of Enduring Significance


As we trace the historical trajectory of Barium, it becomes evident that this element has played a pivotal role in shaping scientific understanding, industrial processes, and technological advancements. From its discovery as a mysterious mineral to its integral role in medical imaging and industrial applications, Barium's journey reflects the dynamic interplay between scientific curiosity and practical innovation. As we move forward, Barium's legacy endures, promising continued contributions to diverse fields and a future shaped by its versatile properties.

Atomic Data

Atomic Radiues, Non-bonded (A): 2.68
Electron Affinity (kJ mol-1): 13.954
Covalent Radiues (A): 2.06
Electronegativity (Pauling Scale): 0.89
Ionisation Energies (kJ mol-1) 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th
502.849 965.223 - - - - - -

Oxidation States and Isotopes

Common oxidation states 2
Isotope Atomic Mass Natural Abundance Half Life Mode of Decay
130Ba 129.906 0.106 2.2 x 1021 y β+β+
132Ba 131.905 0.101 1.3 x 1021 y EC EC
134Ba 133.905 2.417 - -
135Ba 134.906 6.592 - -
136Ba 135.905 7.854 - -
137Ba 136.906 11.232 - -
138Ba 137.905 71.698 - -
 

Supply Risk

Relative Supply Risk: 8.1
Crustal Abundance (ppm): 456
Recycle Rate (%): <10
Production Conc.(%) : 44
Top 3 Producers:
1) China
2) India
3) USA
Top 3 Reserve Holders:
1) China
2) India
3) Algeria
Substitutability: High
Political Stability of Top Producer: 24.1
Political Stability of Top Reserve Holder: 24.1

Pressure and Temperature Data

Specific Heat Capacity: 204
Shear Modulus: Unknown
Young Modulus: Unknown
Bulk Modulus: Unknown
Pressure 400k Pressure 600k Pressure 800k Pressure 1000k Pressure 1200k Pressure 1400k Pressure 1600k Pressure 1800k Pressure 2000k Pressure 2200k Pressure 2400k
- 7.97 x 10-6 0.045 7.11 162 - - - - - Unknown

Podcast

Transcript :

Barium is an elements that can be found in the periodical structure and is classified under the Group 2. The element Barium gets its named from the Greek term that means heavy. The number 56 relates to the Barium atom.  Barium is not a carcinogen, but small amounts of water-soluble Barium can damage the kidney and heart. It has the potential to bring about an elevation in heart rate. It's indeed potentially lethal if consumed in high enough doses. It is usually accompanied by carbon or sulfur. However, Barium is a contaminant in drinking water. Also, Barium is present in some fireworks, it gives a green color. The demand for the market has grown in the recent past. However, the global Barium derivatives market is facing challenges in terms of supply and demand.

Manufacturers of Barium derivatives are trying to overcome these challenges by making powerful changes to their business strategies. For instance, they are reshaping their sales channels in order to promote the products. Other than that, they are also implementing collective efforts to improve the efficiency of their services.

As a result, the global Barium derivatives market has shown an increase in its revenue generation. However, it must overcome the obstacle of failing to meet the more ambitious goals.

A silvery white mineral named Baryte was discovered near Bologna by Vincenzo Casciarolo in Italy. Carl Scheele determined that baryte contained a new element in 1774, but could not isolate barium, only barium oxide. Johan Gottlieb Gahn also isolated barium oxide two years later in similar studies. Barium was first isolated by electrolysis of molten barium salts in 1808 by Sir Humphry Davy in England.

Barium is the fifth most abundant element in the Earth's crust. It is found in minerals. Minerals containing Barium include witherite and baryte. It is manufactured in numerous regions across the globe. China was the most prolific manufacturer in 2011. Nonetheless, it is also prevalent in several other countries. The main mining areas are the Czech Republic, UK, and Germany. But it generates an increasing concentration in the air, soil, and water due to anthropogenic activities.

Baryte represents the least prevalent sort Barium ore that may be found in nature. This is a crystalline form of Barium sulfate (BaSO4). Baryte is a dense, sulfate-rich rock that consists of Barium, sulfate, carbon, and sulfur.

Barium is silvery white and has a density of half that of iron. In its metallic form, it is 30 percent lighter than Aluminum. Barium is a soft, ductile metal. This element is less toxic than mercury and lead. However, it is more reactive than sulfur and it is also a component of high-temperature superconductors.

The barium compounds such as barium acetate, barium chloride, barium cyanide, barium hydroxide, and barium oxide, are quite soluble in water. Therefore is detected with modest concentrations in various terrestrial soils. However, Barium levels may be higher at hazardous waste sites, and these sites may be a source of exposure for people living and working near them. When compounds of barium are heated in a flame, green light of wavelength 554nm is emitted.

There are several uses for Barium. In several alloys, it is an ingredient. For instance, the alloy with nickel is used in spark plug electrodes. When heated, the alloy emits electrons. Barium is also used in manufacturing specialty glasses. It is also a component in paint and enamels. Barium sulfate is utilized in x-ray sonography of the digestion tract because this element is an excellent X-ray absorber.

It can also be combined with zinc oxide to create a white pigment. It is used to coat the cathodes of fluorescent lamps. Also, this element is a catalyst for welding rail tracks and it is used as a component in electroceramics.

References


  • W. M. Haynes, ed., CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, CRC Press/Taylor and Francis, Boca Raton, FL, 95th Edition, Internet Version 2015, accessed December 2014.

  • Tables of Physical & Chemical Constants, Kaye & Laby Online, 16th edition, 1995. Version 1.0 (2005), accessed December 2014.

  • J. S. Coursey, D. J. Schwab, J. J. Tsai, and R. A. Dragoset, Atomic Weights and Isotopic Compositions (version 4.1), 2015, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, accessed November 2016.

  • T. L. Cottrell, The Strengths of Chemical Bonds, Butterworth, London, 1954.

  • John Emsley, Nature’s Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements, Oxford University Press, New York, 2nd Edition, 2011.

  • Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility - Office of Science Education, It’s Elemental - The Periodic Table of Elements, accessed December 2014.