Lead carbonate

Lead(II) carbonate is the chemical compound with the chemical formula PbCO3. It is a white solid with several practical uses, despite its toxicity.[2] It occurs naturally as the mineral cerussite.[3]

Lead carbonate
Uhličitan olovnatý.PNG
IUPAC name
Lead(II) carbonate
Other names
ECHA InfoCard 100.009.041 Edit this at Wikidata
EC Number
  • 209-943-4
RTECS number
  • OF9275000
Molar mass 267.21 g/mol
Appearance White powder
Density 6.582 g/cm3
Melting point 315 °C (599 °F; 588 K) (decomposes)
0.00011 g/(100 mL) (20 °C)
Solubility insoluble in alcohol, ammonia;
soluble in acid, alkali
−61.2·10−6 cm3/mol
GHS labelling:
GHS07: Exclamation markGHS08: Health hazardGHS09: Environmental hazard
H302, H332, H360, H373, H410
P201, P202, P260, P261, P264, P270, P271, P273, P281, P301+P312, P304+P312, P304+P340, P308+P313, P312, P314, P330, P391, P405, P501
Flash point Non-flammable
Safety data sheet (SDS) External MSDS
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Like all metal carbonates, lead(II) carbonate adopts a dense, highly crosslinked structure consisting of intact CO2−3 and metal cation sites. As verified by X-ray crystallography, the Pb(II) centers are seven-coordinate, being surrounded by multiple carbonate ligands. The carbonate centers are bonded to bidentate to a single Pb and bridge to five other Pb sites.[4]

Pb site in PbCO3, highlighting seven-coordination and the presence of one bidentate carbonate ligand for each Pb center.

Production and useEdit

Lead carbonate is manufactured by passing carbon dioxide into a cold dilute solution of lead(II) acetate, or by shaking a suspension of a lead salt more soluble than the carbonate with ammonium carbonate at a low temperature to avoid formation of basic lead carbonate.[2]

Pb(CH3COO)2 + [NH4]2CO3 → PbCO3 + 2 [NH4](CH3COO)

Lead carbonate is used as a catalyst to polymerize formaldehyde to poly(oxymethylene). It improves the bonding of chloroprene to wire.[2]


The supply and use of this compound is restricted in Europe.[5]

Other lead carbonatesEdit

A number of lead carbonates are known:


  1. ^ Pradyot Patnaik. Handbook of Inorganic Chemicals. McGraw-Hill, 2002, ISBN 0-07-049439-8
  2. ^ a b c Carr, Dodd S. (2005). "Lead Compounds". Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH. doi:10.1002/14356007.a15_249.
  3. ^ Inorganic Chemistry, Egon Wiberg, Arnold Frederick Holleman Elsevier 2001 ISBN 0-12-352651-5
  4. ^ Sahl, Kurt (1974). "Verfeinerung der Kristallstruktur von Cerussit, PbCO3". Zeitschrift für Kristallographie. 139 (3–5): 215–222. Bibcode:1974ZK....139..215S. doi:10.1524/zkri.1974.139.3-5.215.
  5. ^ "EU law - EUR-Lex".
  6. ^ S.V. Krivovichev and P.C. Burns, "Crystal chemistry of basic lead carbonates. II. Crystal structure of synthetic 'plumbonacrite'." Mineralogical Magazine, 64(6), pp. 1069-1075, December 2000. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-05-21. Retrieved 2009-05-21.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit