Among the chemical compounds in periodic table, there is barium. Barium is a chemical compound with symbol Ba and is among the elemental chemical in list of chemicals on periodic table. As one of the elemental chemical, Barium has many uses. The chemical itself is a result of alkaline metal from the earth. Barium has high reactivity in which it cause it almost rare to find it in nature in its pure form but rather engaged to other elements of chemical.
The atomic number of Barium is 56. As of the color of Barium, it comes in silvery gray to a pale yellow. In periodic table, we can find Barium in period 6. The closest pure form of Barium is barite that can occurs naturally. As it is among the elemental chemicals, there are some uses of barium in daily life.
- Drilling Oil Well
The most common use of barium is for drilling oil well. Oil is one of the most precious natural source with sky-rocketed price. Therefore, finding an oil well is like finding a well of gold.
In order to reach the earth crust where the oil is, the driller needs barium to dig through and make a well of oil. In this use, barium mixed with other chemicals and water utilized to drill the mud as well as clearing up the dirt from the well. The weight of the barium prevents the oil to leak to the environment. Therefore, Barium is really important in the hunt of natural oil source.
- Remove Gases in Tube
Another use of barium is to remove gases from vacuum tubes. It was very common to find barium in electronic industry especially television. Barium helps to remove gases from the tube that will turn into television display. Thus, it will not leak gas and causes any harmful incident. It continue to be important part of television tubes until LCD and LED display invented.
After that, less company utilizes barium as only small part of them dedicate television tubes for the lower class of customer. Nonetheless, barium marks an important chemical in electronic industry until now.
- Environment Protection from Oil Pollution
Research added barium to chemical that will help to prevent oil to pollute water and the rest of the environment. Even though the pure form of barium is hardly found in the nature, the chemical reaction of barium creates shield when people create well to find oil from natural source.
With the protection of barium, the water near the well is safe because barium prevents oil to leak and mix with the water. There are cases where the system failed and the oil leaks, causing damage to the environment and harming tons of organisms. Hence, barium is very important as part of safety system in drilling mechanism.
Related article: List of Inorganic Water Pollutants
- Firework Production
Little do people know that one of the essential chemical in firework is barium. Barium in firework acts the one that produces green color. The green color in firework comes from heated barium chloride in a high temperature. Not only people utilize barium chloride in firework but also in pyrotechnics.
Pirotechnics is a popular show getter that show sparks either in yellow or colorful color often found in concert or musical stage. The chemical acts as the color producer and the chemical itself is generally safe, but the flammable result of firework and pyrotechnics come from the heat they produce, not from the barium itself.
- Pest Control
Combination of barium sulfate is useful as pest control. While the pure barium itself is a rare use due to its toxicity, barium sulfate has many uses and one of them is as pest control. The element works by reacting to the acid in pest’s stomach. The later process produces barium chloride. This result causes poisoning in the pest by affecting the blood stream and kill the rats instantly.
Effective as pest control, the use of it is strictly for pest only and it is also dangerous for human to consume it as it can irritate the digestive system of human. Either way, it proves that barium, though not in pure form, is still useful in daily life.
Other pest control is in Chemicals Found in Pesticides
- Glass Production
Glass that comes from production using barium has more brilliancy and it also looks clearer compared to other non barium glass. The one that we can use in it is not the pure form of barium as usual, but it is from barium carbonate.
The reaction that barium carbonate creates in the process of glass production help to get rid of dirt or lack of good material and turn the result into a more refined and clear glass. Moreover, the chemical helps to create a more natural looking glass with smooth line and tight precision.
- Fluorescent Lamp
If you ever wonder what compose the fluorescent lamp, barium is one of them. One of barium divident is useful in fluorescent lamp production. The mechanism is similar to the one in television tube production. It helps to clear out the gases and prevent explosion.
Along with other electric component of fluorescent lamp, barium has function that makes the lamp last longer and shine brighter. Even though there is another technology that can replace barium, some still use it due to its effectiveness.
Other Uses of Barium
Below are other uses of barium in daily life:
- Magnet Production
- Welding Process
- Brake System in Vehicle
- White color in paint
- Production of Rubber
Barium that people only know from periodic table taught in school turns out has many benefits in daily life. Despite the pure form having high toxicity, the easy reacted tendency of the chemical helps to create other barium divident beneficial for our life. However, barium use is strictly for industrial and research purpose only and not for public consumption where people can use it freely. That is all about uses of barium in daily life.