lead ii nitrate solution is one of the most common soluble lead compounds, which can be dissolved in water with the addition of a small amount of nitric acid. It is a toxic compound, and can cause symptoms such as gastrointestinal malfunction, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, cramps and headaches, especially at high concentrations.
It is a white, colourless crystalline powder with molar mass 331.2 g/mol and density 4.53 g/cm3. Lead nitrate is also known as lead(II) nitric oxide or Pb(NO3)2. It is soluble in liquid ammonia, water, ethanol and in a concentrated nitric acid at 0°C. When heated at 470°C it decomposes into lead oxide, dioxygen and nitrogen dioxide.
Historically it has been used in the manufacture of matches, special explosives such as lead azide, in mordants and pigments (a.o., for dyeing and printing calico and other textiles), and as a heat stabilizer in nylon and polyester. More recent applications include a coating of photothermograpic paper, and rodenticides.
A typical lead ii nitrate solution is a colorless, clear solution of lead nitrate that reacts with a soluble iodide to form a precipitate. A typical procedure is to add a clean metal scoop of lead nitrate to the opposite side of a Petri dish containing a spoonful of potassium iodide, and observe a yellow precipitate formed on the surface of the solution.
Lead nitrate is a very common laboratory salt, as it can be easily produced from metallic lead or lead oxide using nitric acid in a nitrate-dioxide reduction reaction. It can be used as a source of pure dinitrogen tetroxide in the laboratory, and is often employed for research purposes. It is also useful in the preparation of a variety of other lead compounds.