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Barium Phosphate Formula: Understanding Composition and Properties

Barium phosphate is a chemical compound composed of barium and phosphate ions. Its formula is Ba3(PO4)2. This compound is of significant interest due to its various applications in industries such as ceramics, electronics, and medicine. Understanding its formula, structure, properties, and applications can provide valuable insights into its significance in different fields.

Chemical Formula:

The chemical formula of barium phosphate, Ba3(PO4)2, indicates that each unit of the compound contains three barium (Ba) ions and two phosphate (PO4) ions. The phosphate ion consists of one phosphorus atom bonded to four oxygen atoms in a tetrahedral arrangement.


Barium phosphate adopts a crystalline structure. In its crystalline form, the barium ions are surrounded by phosphate ions, forming a lattice structure. This arrangement contributes to the compound’s stability and properties.


  1. Physical Properties:
    • Barium phosphate is a white, odorless solid.
    • It is insoluble in water, indicating its low solubility.
    • The compound has a high melting point, making it useful for applications requiring thermal stability.
  2. Chemical Properties:
    • Barium phosphate is a source of both barium and phosphate ions in chemical reactions.
    • It reacts with acids to form soluble barium salts, such as barium chloride or barium nitrate, and phosphoric acid.
    • It exhibits basic properties due to the presence of the barium ion.
  3. Applications:
    • Ceramics: Barium phosphate is used as a component in ceramic materials, especially in the production of high-temperature ceramics due to its thermal stability.
    • Electronics: It finds applications in the electronics industry, particularly in the production of electronic components and devices.
    • Medicine: Barium phosphate compounds are used in certain medical procedures, such as X-ray imaging of the digestive system.

Safety Considerations:

While barium phosphate has various applications, it’s essential to handle it with care due to the toxicity of barium compounds. Direct contact or ingestion of barium compounds can lead to health hazards. Proper safety measures should be followed during its handling, storage, and disposal to prevent any adverse effects on human health and the environment.

Barium phosphate, an inorganic salt, has the chemical formula Ba₃(PO₄)₂. This means in each molecule of barium phosphate:

  • There are three barium (Ba²⁺) cations.
  • There are two phosphate (PO₄³⁻) anions.

Barium phosphate can also be written as Ba₃O₈P₂, highlighting its composition of barium, oxygen, and phosphorus.

Here are some key points about barium phosphate:

  • Colorless solid: It typically occurs in powder form.
  • Insoluble in water: However, it dissolves readily in acidic solutions.
  • High melting point: Around 1560°C.
  • Applications: Used in the production of glasses, ceramics, and certain types of lasers.


Barium phosphate, with its chemical formula Ba3(PO4)2, is a compound with diverse applications in ceramics, electronics, and medicine. Its properties, including thermal stability and chemical reactivity, make it valuable for various industrial processes. Understanding its composition, structure, and properties is crucial for utilizing it effectively in different fields while ensuring safety and environmental responsibility.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – Barium Phosphate Formula

1. What is the chemical formula for barium phosphate?

  • The chemical formula for barium phosphate is Ba3(PO4)2.

2. What is the molecular structure of barium phosphate?

  • Barium phosphate consists of one barium (Ba) cation bonded to two phosphate (PO4) anions.

3. What are the physical properties of barium phosphate?

  • Barium phosphate is a white crystalline solid at room temperature. It is insoluble in water and has a high melting point.

4. What are the common uses of barium phosphate?

  • Barium phosphate has applications in the production of ceramics, glass, and phosphors. It is also utilized in the manufacture of specialty glasses, as a component in dental cements, and as an additive in phosphors for fluorescent lights.

5. Is barium phosphate toxic or hazardous?

  • Barium compounds, including barium phosphate, can be toxic if ingested or inhaled in large quantities. Proper handling and disposal procedures should be followed to minimize risks.

6. How is barium phosphate synthesized?

  • Barium phosphate can be synthesized by reacting barium chloride (BaCl2) with phosphoric acid (H3PO4) or by precipitation from solutions containing barium and phosphate ions.

7. What are the safety precautions when working with barium phosphate?

  • Safety goggles, gloves, and lab coats should be worn when handling barium phosphate to avoid skin contact and inhalation of dust. Work should be conducted in a well-ventilated area, and ingestion should be avoided.

8. Is barium phosphate environmentally friendly?

  • Barium phosphate itself is not considered environmentally friendly due to its toxicity. Proper disposal methods should be employed to prevent contamination of soil and water systems.

9. Can barium phosphate be found in nature?

  • Yes, barium phosphate can be found in nature as the mineral phosphorite, although it is more commonly produced synthetically for commercial purposes.

10. Are there any alternatives to barium phosphate in its various applications?

  • Depending on the specific application, alternatives to barium phosphate may exist. For example, in some cases, other phosphorus-containing compounds or alternative materials may be used. Research and development in materials science continue to explore substitutes for various applications.

1. What is the chemical formula of Barium phosphate?

The chemical formula of Barium phosphate is Ba₃(PO₄)₂. This means that the compound is composed of three barium cations (Ba²⁺) and two phosphate anions (PO₄³⁻).

2. What is the structure of Barium phosphate?

Barium phosphate has an ionic structure, meaning the barium cations and phosphate anions are held together by electrostatic forces. Each barium ion is surrounded by four phosphate ions, and each phosphate ion is surrounded by four barium ions, forming a three-dimensional network.

3. What are the properties of Barium phosphate?

  • Color: Colorless solid
  • Solubility: Insoluble in water, but soluble in acidic solutions
  • Melting point: 1670°C
  • Density: 4.3 g/cm³
  • Other properties: High thermal stability, fire-resistant

4. What are some uses of Barium phosphate?

  • Pigment: Used as a white pigment in paints, ceramics, and plastics
  • Corrosion inhibitor: Used in coatings to prevent corrosion
  • Fire retardant: Added to materials to slow down the spread of fire
  • X-ray contrast agent: Used in medical imaging for better visualization of specific organs and tissues
  • Fertilizer: Used as a slow-release source of phosphorus for plants

5. Is Barium phosphate safe?

Barium phosphate is generally considered safe for most applications. However, it can be harmful if inhaled or ingested. It is important to handle Barium phosphate with care and follow proper safety precautions.

Additional notes:

  • Barium phosphate can also exist in a hydrated form, with water molecules incorporated into the crystal structure.
  • Barium phosphate has several alternative names, such as tribarium diphosphate and barium phosphate tribasic.

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