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What is Lead (II) Azide?

Lead (II) Azide is an inorganic compound that is largely used with explosive industries to produce detonators. The chemical formula for the compound is Pb(N3)2 and its molecular weight is 291.242 g mol-1 approx. It is formed by mixing lead cations and Azide anions together where nitrogen atoms are connected together with double bonds.

Lead (II) Azide Structure

The compound has orthorhombic structure and its chemical structure could be given as below.

Lead (II) Azide Structure

Lead (II) Azide Chemical Formula

The compound is highly unstable and it is not available in nature in the free state. It was primarily synthesized in the 19th century and during 20th century it was prepared by alternative methods to produce quickly and cheaply in war.

Pb(NO3)2 + 2 NaN3 → Pb(N3)2 + 2 NaNO3

Lead (II) Azide Properties

Looking at the physical properties of the compound, it is a white powder with a density of 4.70 g mL-1 approx. The melting point of the compound is taken as the 190 degree Celsius and its temperature is higher than 300 degree Celsius.

Sometimes, it can explode as well at very high temperatures. It is not soluble in water but it dissolves quickly with acetic acid. This is popular as the component of airbag and propellant. It has several linear structure and resonances. They are being used since 19th century for production of many explosions.

It is quite harmful when swallowed in excessive amount and it may cause damage to eyes or other organs. It affects fertility and infants too. It is very toxic in nature and unstable compound with a serious risk of violent explosions.

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