Lead nitrate

Lead II nitrate . It is a toxic substance for aquatic organisms. Bioaccumulation takes place in the human food chain , specifically in terrestrial and marine organisms. It is strongly advised to prevent the chemical from entering the environment. The substance can cause long-term effects in the aquatic environment.


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  • 1 Origin
  • 2 Appearance
  • 3 Chemical hazards
    • 1 Exposure
    • 2 Risks
    • 3 Exposure
  • 4 Applications
  • 5 Security measures
  • 6 Sources
  • 7 External Links


Since the Middle Ages, lead (II) nitrate has been produced on a small scale as a base material for the production of coloring pigments, such as chromium yellow (lead (II) chromate) or chromium orange ( lead (II) hydroxidechromate). )), or other similar lead compounds. In the 15th century, the German alchemist Andreas Libavius ​​synthesized this compound, and gave it the names plumb dulcis and calx plumb dulcis.2 Although the production process is chemically simple, production was minimal until the 19th century, and it is not known no non-European production prior to the 20th century.3 4


White or colorless crystals .

Chemical hazards

The substance decomposes on intense heating (290 ° C), producing toxic fumes of nitrogen oxide and lead oxides . The substance is a strong oxidant and reacts violently with combustible and reducing materials. Reacts violently with ammonium thiocyanate, incandescent carbon, lead hypophosphate.


The substance can be absorbed into the body by inhalation of the aerosol and by ingestion.


Evaporation at 20 ° C is negligible; however, a harmful concentration of airborne particles, especially in the form of dust, can quickly be reached.


The substance irritates the eyes, the skin and the respiratory tract. It can affect the blood, gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, liver, and nervous system, leading to anemia, hypertension, kidney and liver malfunction, seizures, and paralysis. This substance is posibly carcinogen to humans. It produces serious alterations in human reproduction.


Few are the lead salts capable of solubilizing with H 2 O, specifically there are only three salts soluble in water:

Pb (ClO 4 ) 2.3H 2 O, Pb (CH 3 COO) 2 and our compound.

Pb (NO 3 ) 2 is a white crystalline solid, soluble in polar solvents, and insoluble in apolar ones. It crystallizes in regular octahedra. Despite its extremely fast solubility in H 2 O, (its PkS is very high) it is not hygroscopic, remaining stable in atmospheres with a certain humidity index. Thanks to its solubility this salt is poisonous, Pb +2 forms complexes with O 2 and breaks the tetrapyrrole rings of porphyrins. Lead (II) nitrate has historically been used in the manufacture of matches and special explosives such as lead azide Pb (NO 3 ) 2, in mordants and pigments (lead paints …), for the coloring and printing of fabrics, and in the production processes of lead compounds. Other more recent applications are, for example, as a thermal stabilizer in nylon and polyesters, as a coating for photothermographic films, and in rodenticides. Lead (II) nitrate is also a reliable source of pure dinitrogen tetroxide in the laboratory. When salt is carefully dried and heated in a steel container, it produces nitrogen (IV) oxide and oxygen. The gases are condensed and then a fractional distillation is carried out to give pure N 2 O 4 .

2 Pb (NO 3 ) 2 (s) → 2 PbO (s) + 4 NO 2 (g) + O 2 (g)

2 NO 2 ⇌ N 2 O 4

Security measures

To prevent fires: Do not put in contact with flammable substances. In case of fire in the surroundings: water spray. In case of fire: keep drums and other installations cool by spraying with water. In case of spills and leaks: Sweep up the spilled substance and place it in a container; if necessary, moisten the powder to avoid dispersion. Carefully collect the residue, then move it to a safe place. DO NOT soak up in sawdust or other combustible absorbents. Do not allow this chemical to enter the environment.


  • Libavius, Andreas (1595). Alchemia Andreæ Libavii. Francofurti. • Ferris, LM (December 1959). “Lead nitrate — Nitric acid — Water system” (PDF). Journal of Chemicals and Engineering Date (Oak Ridge National Laboratory). Accessed October 11, 2006. • Pauley, JL; MK Testerman (1954). “Basic Salts of Lead Nitrate Formed in Aqueous Media”. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 76 (16): 4220–4222. • Hamilton, WC (1957). “A neutron crystallographic study of lead nitrate”. Acta Cryst. 10: 103-107. doi: 10.1107 / S0365110X57000304.


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