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Barium compounds in India - Barytes, Barium Sulfide and Barium Chloride


Barites (

Baryte or barite is a mineral consisting of barium sulfate (BaSO4). Baryte is generally white or colorless, and is the main source of barium. The baryte group consists of baryte, celestine (strontium sulfate), anglesite (lead sulfate), and anhydrite (calcium sulfate). Baryte and celestine form a solid solution (Ba,Sr)SO4.

The name baryte is derived from the Ancient Greek: βαρύς, romanized: barús, 'heavy'. The American spelling is barite. The International Mineralogical Association initially adopted "barite" as the official spelling, but recommended adopting the older "baryte" spelling later. This move was controversial and was notably ignored by American mineralogists.

Other names have been used for baryte, including barytine, barytite, barytes, heavy spar, tiff, and blanc fixe.

In oil and gas drilling
Worldwide, 69–77% of baryte is used as a weighting agent for drilling fluids in oil and gas exploration to suppress high formation pressures and prevent blowouts. As a well is drilled, the bit passes through various formations, each with different characteristics. The deeper the hole, the more baryte is needed as a percentage of the total mud mix. An additional benefit of baryte is that it is non-magnetic and thus does not interfere with magnetic measurements taken in the borehole, either during logging-while-drilling or in separate drill hole logging. Baryte used for drilling petroleum wells can be black, blue, brown or gray depending on the ore body. The baryte is finely ground so that at least 97% of the material, by weight, can pass through a 200-mesh (75 μm) screen, and no more than 30%, by weight, can be less than 6 μm diameter. The ground baryte also must be dense enough so that its specific gravity is 4.2 or greater, soft enough to not damage the bearings of a tricone drill bit, chemically inert, and containing no more than 250 milligrams per kilogram of soluble alkaline salts. In August 2010, the American Petroleum Institute published specifications to modify the 4.2 drilling grade standards for baryte to include 4.1 SG materials.

In oxygen and sulfur isotopic analysis
In the deep ocean, away from continental sources of sediment, pelagic baryte precipitates and forms a significant amount of the sediments. Since baryte has oxygen, systematics in the δ18O of these sediments have been used to help constrain paleotemperatures for oceanic crust.

The variations in sulfur isotopes (34S/32S) are being examined in evaporite minerals containing sulfur (e.g. baryte) and carbonate associated sulfates (CAS) to determine past seawater sulfur concentrations which can help identify specific depositonal periods such as anoxic or oxic conditions. The use of sulfur isotope reconstruction is often paired with oxygen when a molecule contains both elements.

Other uses
Baryte is used in added-value applications which include filler in paint and plastics, sound reduction in engine compartments, coat of automobile finishes for smoothness and corrosion resistance, friction products for automobiles and trucks, radiation-shielding cement, glass ceramics, and medical applications (for example, a barium meal before a contrast CT scan). Baryte is supplied in a variety of forms and the price depends on the amount of processing; filler applications commanding higher prices following intense physical processing by grinding and micronising, and there are further premiums for whiteness and brightness and color. It is also used to produce other barium chemicals, notably barium carbonate which is used for the manufacture of LED glass for television and computer screens (historically in cathode ray tubes); and for dielectrics.

Historically, baryte was used for the production of barium hydroxide for sugar refining, and as a white pigment for textiles, paper, and paint.

Although baryte contains the toxic heavy metal barium, it is not toxic because barium sulfate is extremely insoluble in water.

It is also sometimes used as gemstone.

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Barium Chloride (

Barium chloride is the inorganic compound with the formula BaCl2. It is one of the most common water-soluble salts of barium. Like most other barium salts, it is white, toxic, and imparts a yellow-green coloration to a flame. It is also hygroscopic, converting first to the dihydrate BaCl2(H2O)2. It has limited use in the laboratory and industry.

Structure and properties
BaCl2 crystallizes in two forms (polymorphs). One form has the cubic fluorite (CaF2) structure and the other the orthorhombic cotunnite (PbCl2) structure. Both polymorphs accommodate the preference of the large Ba2+ ion for coordination numbers greater than six.[6] The coordination of Ba2+ is 8 in the fluorite structure and 9 in the cotunnite structure. When cotunnite-structure BaCl2 is subjected to pressures of 7–10 GPa, it transforms to a third structure, a monoclinic post-cotunnite phase. The coordination number of Ba2+ increases from 9 to 10.
In aqueous solution BaCl2 behaves as a simple salt; in water it is a 1:2 electrolyte and the solution exhibits a neutral pH. Its solutions react with sulfate ion to produce a thick white precipitate of barium sulfate.

On an industrial scale, it is prepared via a two step process from barite (barium sulfate):

BaSO4 + 4 C → BaS + 4 CO
This first step requires high temperatures.

BaS + 2 HCl → BaCl2 + H2S
In place of HCl, chlorine can be used.

Barium chloride can in principle be prepared from barium hydroxide or barium carbonate. These basic salts react with hydrochloric acid to give hydrated barium chloride.

Although inexpensive, barium chloride finds limited applications in the laboratory and industry. In industry, barium chloride is mainly used in the purification of brine solution in caustic chlorine plants and also in the manufacture of heat treatment salts, case hardening of steel. Its toxicity limits its applicability.

Barium chloride, along with other water-soluble barium salts, is highly toxic. Sodium sulfate and magnesium sulfate are potential antidotes because they form barium sulfate BaSO4, which is relatively non-toxic because of its insolubility.

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Barium Sulfide (

Barium sulfide is the inorganic compound with the formula BaS. BaS is an important precursor to other barium compounds including BaCO3 and the pigment lithopone, ZnS/BaSO4. Like other chalcogenides of the alkaline earth metals, BaS is a short wavelength emitter for electronic displays. It is colorless, although like many sulfides, it is commonly obtained in impure colored forms.

Discovery, Production, Properties
BaS was prepared by Vincentius (or Vincentinus) Casciarolus (or Casciorolus, 1571-1624) via reduction of BaSO4 (available as the mineral barite). It is currently manufactured by an improved version of Casciarolus's process using coke in place of flour. This kind of conversion is called a carbothermic reaction:

BaSO4 + 2 C → BaS + 2 CO2
The phosphorescence of the material made by Casciarolus made it a curiosity.

BaS crystallizes with the NaCl structure, featuring octahedral Ba2+ and S2− centres.

The observed melting point of barium sulfide is highly sensitive to impurities.

BaS is quite poisonous, as are related sulfides, such as CaS, which evolve toxic hydrogen sulfide upon contact with water.

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