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barium bromide is a white, odorless salt that is moderately soluble in water. It is a toxic compound that can be harmful to people if it is swallowed or inhaled. It was used in the 19th century by Marie Curie in a process called fractional crystallization to purify Radium. It is now utilized as a chemical precursor, in photography, and in the production of other bromides. Like other alkaline metal halides, it is an ionic compound.
It is also known as barium (2+) dibromide or anhydrous barium bromide. It crystallizes as white, deliquescent orthorhombic crystals with lead chloride motifs and behaves like a simple salt in an aqueous solution. It reacts with the sulfate ion from sulfuric acid to produce barium sulfate, and it can also form barium carbonate through reactions with hydrobromic acid or oxalic acid.
In the molecular structure of barium bromide, there are four covalent bonds and one ionic bond. It is a poisonous substance, and it can be fatal if swallowed in large amounts. When ingested, it prevents intracellular potassium from entering cells, which electrically unexcites muscle fibers.
The element barium is a silvery-white metal, and it forms a number of stable compounds with the halogens, including chlorine, bromine, and iodine. It is also an important component of glass, ceramics, and enamel. Barium is also found in the earth, where it occurs as a dark gray mineral. It is the third most abundant element in the crust after silicon and oxygen, and it makes up about 1% of the earth’s weight.