Lead Nitrate (or Lead Dinitrate) is a white colour inorganic powder with the chemical formula Pb(NO3)2. This substance is very toxic, soluble in water, and is an effective oxidizing agent. It dissolves in water to give a colourless and slightly acidic solution, dissociating to its respective Lead and Nitrate Ions.
The commercial method for producing Lead Nitrate involves the usage of the major raw material Litharge. This litharge is then combined with the relatively hot dilute solution of Nitric Acid. The reaction between these two raw materials proceeds to give us Lead Nitrate which exists in precipitate form. This precipitate is then filtered and crystallize in small amounts from its mother liquor solution. This crystallized product is then separated, washed, dried, and then sent for size reducing processes to obtain the desired size as demanded by customers.
Lead Nitrate is widely utilized in the manufacture of matches, fireworks, and explosives (like Lead Azide). This is mainly due to its tendency to decompose into Lead (II) Oxide, Oxygen, and Nitrogen Dioxide.
It is also used in gold cyanidation process as a leaching agent, in the Sommelet Reaction of Benzylic Halides as an oxidant, and finally in the production of isothiocyanates and dithiocarbamates.
Lead Nitrate is an oxidizer in the dye industry.
Lead Nitrate is also used to process engraving and mordant in mother-of-pearl staining.
In the electron microscopy laboratory, Lead Nitrate is used as a metal stain for ultra-thin sections.
Lead Nitrate is used as medical astringent.