Barium, Ba, is an alkaline earth metallic element found in
Group IIa of
the periodic table.
- Barium was first identified by Steele in 1774AD when he observed
a new element in Bononian phosphorus which gave a sulphate which was
insoluble in water.
- Barium was first isolated by Sir Humphery
Davy in 1808AD.
Barium is found in the minerals Barytes, BaSO4, and Witherite, BaCO3.
- Barium is prepared by the electrolysis of fused anhydrous
Barium Chloride, BaCl2.
- Barium is also prepared by the reduction of Barium Oxide with
The properties of Barium are typical of the alkaline earths :
- Barium is a soft silvery-white metal.
- Barium tarnishes readily in air forming Barium Oxide and
should be stored under paraffin.
- Barium has physical and chemical properties which
Barium is similar in to Calcium in its chemical properties.
- Barium is used in fireworks to give a green colouration.
- Barium is used in glassmaking.
- Barium is used as a getter in the electronics industry,
to remove the last traces of gases in vacuum tubes.
- Barium is used in medicine in the form of a Barium Meal
(i.e. Barium Sulphate, BaSO4), is used as an X-Ray contrast medium.
Detection and Analysis
Barium is detected by the green colouration it imparts to a flame.
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