Strontium carbonate

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.

Strontium carbonate
IUPAC name
Strontium carbonate
Other names
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.015.131
EC Number
  • 216-643-7
RTECS number
  • WK8305000
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 soluble in ammonium chloride
slightly soluble in ammonia
−47.0·10−6 cm3/mol
Safety data sheet External MSDS data
NFPA 704
Flammability code 0: Will not burn. E.g. waterHealth code 1: Exposure would cause irritation but only minor residual injury. E.g. turpentineReactivity code 0: Normally stable, even under fire exposure conditions, and is not reactive with water. E.g. liquid nitrogenSpecial hazards (white): no codeNFPA 704 four-colored diamond
Flash point Non-flammable
Related compounds
Other cations
Magnesium carbonate
Calcium carbonate
Barium carbonate
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).


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.[1] 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.[2][1]

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.[1] 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.


Strontium Carbonate and Nitric acid
Nitric acid reacts with strontium carbonate to form strontium nitrate.

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.

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 sulphur to make SrS:x where x is typically europium. This is the famous "blue/green" phosphor which is sensitive to frequency and changes from lime green to blue. 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

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.[3]


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ Henry Lutz Ehrlich; Dianne K Newman (2009). Geomicrobiology, Fifth Edition. CRC Press. p. 177.

External links

Alkaline earth metal

The alkaline earth metals are six chemical elements in group 2 of the periodic table. They are beryllium (Be), magnesium (Mg), calcium (Ca), strontium (Sr), barium (Ba), and radium (Ra). The elements have very similar properties: they are all shiny, silvery-white, somewhat reactive metals at standard temperature and pressure.Structurally, they have in common an outer s-orbital which is full;

that is, this orbital contains its full complement of two electrons, which these elements readily lose to form cations with charge +2, and an oxidation state of +2.All the discovered alkaline earth metals occur in nature, although radium occurs only through the decay chain of uranium and thorium and not as a primordial element. Experiments have been conducted to attempt the synthesis of element 120, the next potential member of the group, but they have all met with failure.


Ancylite is a group of hydrous strontium carbonate minerals containing cerium, lanthanum and minor amounts of other rare-earth elements. The composition is Sr(Ce,La)(CO3)2(OH)·H2O with ancylite-Ce enriched in cerium and ancylite-La in lanthanum.Ancylite was first described in 1899 for an occurrence in the Narsarsuk pegmatite in west Greenland and named from the Greek αυκιλος for curved in reference to its rounded or distorted crystal form.


Electroceramics is a class of ceramic materials used primarily for their electrical properties.

While ceramics have traditionally been admired and used for their mechanical, thermal and chemical stability, their unique electrical, optical and magnetic properties have become of increasing importance in many key technologies including communications, energy conversion and storage, electronics and automation. Such materials are now classified under electroceramics, as distinguished from other functional ceramics such as advanced structural ceramics.

Historically, developments in the various subclasses of electroceramics have paralleled the growth of new technologies. Examples include: ferroelectrics - high dielectric capacitors, non-volatile memories; ferrites - data and information storage; solid electrolytes - energy storage and conversion; piezoelectrics - sonar; semiconducting oxides - environmental monitoring. Recent advances in these areas are described in the Journal of Electroceramics.

Friedrich Gabriel Sulzer

Friedrich Gabriel Sulzer (10 October 1749 – 14 December 1830) was a German physician from Gotha, Thuringia.Sulzer had a large collection of minerals and published also new results from new species. In 1791, Sulzer published together with Johann Friedrich Blumenbach their results on a new mineral he had acquired. He named the mineral strontianite (strontium carbonate) and made clear that it was distinct from the witherite (barium carbonate) and stated that it contained a new element.He was head of a veterinary school and a midwifery school and chief physician for the local spa in Ronneburg, Thuringia. Additionally, he was the physician for Dorothea von Medem and her sister Elisa von der Recke. He was part of the Musenhof der Herzogin von Kurland.

In 1774, Sulzer, a companion of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, devoted a whole academic monography in the domain of social sciences and natural history to hamsters, entitled "An approach to a natural history of the hamster" ("Versuch einer Naturgeschichte des Hamsters"). In several instances, he used the hamster to document the equal rights of all beings, including Homo sapiens.


Pelagosite is a form of pisolitic aragonite (CaCO3) whose type locality is the Croatian island group of Palagruža (Italian Pelagosa, whence the name) in the middle of the Adriatic. It was identified by R. Moser in Mineralogische und petrographische Mitteilungen, new series (Vienna) 1 (1878), 174. It has a higher content of magnesium carbonate, strontium carbonate, calcium sulfate (gypsum) and silicon dioxide(silica) than is found in typical limy sediments elsewhere. It occurs as a superficial calcareous crust no more than a few millimetres thick, which is generally white, grey, or brownish with a pearly lustre. It was believed to be formed in the intertidal zone by saltwater spray and evaporation, but an algal contribution has recently been suggested (Montanari and others (2007)), following an overlooked earlier proposal by E. Onorato in 1926.


SrCO3 may refer to:


Strontium carbonate

Strontian process

The strontian process is an obsolete chemical method to recover sugar from molasses. Its use in Europe peaked in the middle of the 19th century. The name strontian comes from the Scottish village Strontian where the source mineral strontianite (strontium carbonate) was first found.


Strontium is the chemical element with the symbol Sr and atomic number 38. An alkaline earth metal, strontium is a soft silver-white yellowish metallic element that is highly chemically reactive. The metal forms a dark oxide layer when it is exposed to air. Strontium has physical and chemical properties similar to those of its two vertical neighbors in the periodic table, calcium and barium. It occurs naturally mainly in the minerals celestine and strontianite, and is mostly mined from these. While natural strontium is stable, the synthetic 90Sr isotope is radioactive and is one of the most dangerous components of nuclear fallout, as strontium is absorbed by the body in a similar manner to calcium. Natural stable strontium, on the other hand, is not hazardous to health.

Both strontium and strontianite are named after Strontian, a village in Scotland near which the mineral was discovered in 1790 by Adair Crawford and William Cruickshank; it was identified as a new element the next year from its crimson-red flame test color. Strontium was first isolated as a metal in 1808 by Humphry Davy using the then-newly discovered process of electrolysis. During the 19th century, strontium was mostly used in the production of sugar from sugar beet (see strontian process). At the peak of production of television cathode ray tubes, as much as 75 percent of strontium consumption in the United States was used for the faceplate glass. With the replacement of cathode ray tubes with other display methods, consumption of strontium has dramatically declined.

Strontium bromide

Strontium bromide is a chemical compound with a formula SrBr2. At room temperature it is a white, odorless, crystalline powder. Strontium bromide burns bright red in a flame test. It is used in flares and also has some pharmaceutical uses.

Strontium chloride

Strontium chloride (SrCl2) is a salt of strontium and chloride. It is a typical salt, forming neutral aqueous solutions. Like all compounds of Sr, this salt emits a bright red colour in a flame; in fact it is used as a source of redness in fireworks. Its chemical properties are intermediate between those for barium chloride, which is more toxic, and calcium chloride.

Strontium chromate

Strontium chromate is a chemical compound, with the formula SrCrO4.

Strontium fluoride

Strontium fluoride, SrF2, also called strontium difluoride and strontium(II) fluoride, is a fluoride of strontium. It is a stable brittle white crystalline solid with melting point of 1477 °C and boiling point 2460 °C. It appears as the mineral strontiofluorite.

Strontium hexaboride

Strontium boride (SrB6) is an inorganic compound. At room temperature, it appears as a crystalline black powder. Closer examination reveals slightly translucent dark red crystals capable of scratching quartz. It is very stable and has a high melting point and density. Although not thought to be toxic, it is an irritant to the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract.

Strontium hydroxide

Strontium hydroxide, Sr(OH)2, is a caustic alkali composed of one strontium ion and two hydroxide ions. It is synthesized by combining a strontium salt with a strong base. Sr(OH)2 exists in anhydrous, monohydrate, or octahydrate form.

Strontium iodide

Strontium iodide (SrI2) is a salt of strontium and iodine. It is an ionic, water-soluble, and deliquescent compound that can be used in medicine as a substitute for potassium iodide


It is also used as a scintillation gamma radiation detector, typically doped with europium, due to its optical clarity, relatively high density, high effective atomic number (Z=48), and high scintillation light yield. In recent years, europium-doped strontium iodide (SrI2:Eu2+) has emerged as a promising scintillation material for gamma-ray spectroscopy with extremely high light yield and proportional response, exceeding that of the widely used high performance commercial scintillator LaBr3:Ce3+. Large diameter SrI2 crystals can be grown reliably using vertical Bridgman technique and are being commercialized by several companies.

Strontium nitrate

Strontium nitrate is an inorganic compound made of the elements strontium and nitrogen with the formula Sr(NO3)2. This colorless solid is used as a red colorant and oxidizer in pyrotechnics.

Strontium oxalate

Strontium oxalate is a compound with the chemical formula SrC2O4. Strontium oxalate can exist either in a hydrated form (SrC2O4•nH2O) or as the acidic salt of strontium oxalate (SrC2O4•mH2C2O4•nH2O).

Strontium oxide

Strontium oxide or strontia, SrO, is formed when strontium reacts with oxygen. Burning strontium in air results in a mixture of strontium oxide and strontium nitride. It also forms from the decomposition of strontium carbonate SrCO3. It is a strongly basic oxide.

Strontium sulfide

Strontium sulfide is the inorganic compound with the formula SrS. It is a white solid. The compound is an intermediate in the conversion of strontium sulfate, the main strontium ore called celestite, to other more useful compounds.

Strontium compounds


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