Strontium carbonate

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Strontium carbonate
IUPAC name
Strontium carbonate
Other names
  • 1633-05-2 checkY
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.015.131 Edit this at Wikidata
EC Number
  • 216-643-7
RTECS number
  • WK8305000
  • InChI=1S/CH2O3.Sr/c2-1(3)4;/h(H2,2,3,4);/q;+2/p-2 checkY
  • InChI=1/CH2O3.Sr/c2-1(3)4;/h(H2,2,3,4);/q;+2/p-2
  • [Sr+2].[O-]C([O-])=O
Molar mass 147.63 g/mol
Appearance White powder
Odor Odorless
Density 3.74 g/cm3
Melting point 1,494 °C (2,721 °F; 1,767 K) (decomposes)
0.0011 g/100 mL (18 °C)
0.065 g/100 mL (100 °C)
Solubility in other solvents Soluble in ammonium chloride
Slightly soluble in ammonia
−47.0·10−6 cm3/mol
Safety data sheet External MSDS data
NFPA 704 (fire diamond)
Flash point Non-flammable
Related compounds
Other cations
Beryllium carbonate
Magnesium carbonate
Calcium carbonate
Barium carbonate
Radium carbonate
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
checkY verify (what is checkY☒N ?)
Infobox references

Strontium carbonate (SrCO3) is the carbonate salt of strontium that has the appearance of a white or grey powder. It occurs in nature as the mineral strontianite.

Chemical properties[edit]

Strontium carbonate is a white, odorless, tasteless powder. Being a carbonate, it is a weak base and therefore is reactive with acids. It is otherwise stable and safe to work with. It is practically insoluble in water (1 part in 100,000). The solubility is increased significantly if the water is saturated with carbon dioxide, to 1 part in 1,000. It is soluble in dilute acids.


Other than the natural occurrence as a mineral, strontium carbonate is prepared synthetically in one of two processes, both of which start with naturally occurring celestine, a mineral form of strontium sulfate (SrSO4). In the "black ash" process, celesite is roasted with coke at 110–1300 °C to form strontium sulfide.[2] The sulfate is reduced, leaving the sulfide:

SrSO4 + 2 C → SrS + 2 CO2

A mixture of strontium sulfide with either carbon dioxide gas or sodium carbonate then leads to formation of a precipitate of strontium carbonate.[3][2]

SrS + H2O + CO2 → SrCO3 + H2S
SrS + Na2CO3 → SrCO3 + Na2S

In the "direct conversion" or double-decomposition method, a mixture of celesite and sodium carbonate is treated with steam to form strontium carbonate with substantial amounts of undissolved other solids.[2] This material is mixed with hydrochloric acid, which dissolves the strontium carbonate to form a solution of strontium chloride. Carbon dioxide or sodium carbonate is then used to re-precipitate strontium carbonate, as in the black-ash process.


Nitric acid reacts with strontium carbonate to form strontium nitrate.

The most common use is as an inexpensive colorant in fireworks. Strontium and its salts emit a brilliant red color in flame. Unlike other strontium salts, the carbonate salt is generally preferred because of its cost and the fact that it is not hygroscopic. Its ability to neutralize acid is also very helpful in pyrotechnics. Another similar application is in road flares.

Strontium carbonate is used for electronic applications. It is used for manufacturing color television receivers (CTVs) to absorb electrons resulting from the cathode.[4]

It is used in the preparation of iridescent glass, luminous paint, strontium oxide, and strontium salts and in refining sugar and certain drugs.

It is widely used in the ceramics industry as an ingredient in glazes. It acts as a flux and also modifies the color of certain metallic oxides. It has some properties similar to barium carbonate.

It is also used in the manufacturing of strontium ferrites for permanent magnets which are used in loudspeakers and door magnets.

Strontium carbonate is also used for making some superconductors such as BSCCO and also for electroluminescent materials where it is first calcined into SrO and then mixed with sulfur to make SrS:x where x is typically europium.[citation needed] This is the "blue/green" phosphor which is sensitive to frequency and changes from lime green to blue.[citation needed] Other dopants can also be used such as gallium, or yttrium to get a yellow/orange glow instead.

Because of its status as a weak Lewis base, strontium carbonate can be used to produce many different strontium compounds by simple use of the corresponding acid.

Microbial precipitation[edit]

The cyanobacteria Calothrix, Synechococcus and Gloeocapsa can precipitate strontian calcite in groundwater. The strontium exists as strontianite in solid solution within the host calcite with the strontium content of up to one percent.[5]


  1. ^ John Rumble (June 18, 2018). CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (99 ed.). CRC Press. pp. 5–189. ISBN 1138561630.
  2. ^ a b c Aydoğan, Salih; Erdemoğlu, Murat; Aras, Ali; Uçar, Gökhan; Özkan, Alper (2006). "Dissolution kinetics of celestite (SrSO4) in HCl solution with BaCl2". Hydrometallurgy. 84 (3–4): 239–246. doi:10.1016/j.hydromet.2006.06.001.
  3. ^ MacMillan, J. Paul; Park, Jai Won; Gerstenberg, Rolf; Wagner, Heinz; Köhler, Karl; Wallbrecht, Peter. "Strontium and Strontium Compounds". Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH. doi:10.1002/14356007.a25_321.
  4. ^ "Strontium Carbonate". Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  5. ^ Henry Lutz Ehrlich; Dianne K Newman (2009). Geomicrobiology, Fifth Edition. CRC Press. p. 177.

External links[edit]