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Lead (II) acetate Formula – Structure, Properties, Uses, Sample Questions

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  • Last Updated : 02 May, 2022
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Lead (Pb), a soft silvery-white or gray metal of Group 14 (IVa) of the Periodic Table, atomic number 82. Lead is malleable, malleable, dense, and less conductive. Known from ancient times and believed to be the oldest metal by alchemists, lead is extremely strong and resistant to corrosion, as evidenced by the continued use of lead water pipes installed by ancient Romans. there is. The lead symbol Pb is an abbreviation for plumbum in Latin, which means lead. Lead and its compounds are used in a variety of products found in and around the home, such as paints, ceramics, plumbing and plumbing supplies, solder, gasoline, batteries, ammunition, and cosmetics.

Acetate is a monocarboxylic acid anion formed by removing protons from the carboxyl group of acetic acid. It functions both as a human metabolite and as a metabolite of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The conjugate base of acetic acid is Acetate. Acetate salt or ester. Also called viscose acetate. Commercially important acetates are aluminum acetate used for coloring, ammonium acetate, which is a precursor of acetamide, and potassium acetate used as a diuretic. All three salts are colorless and easily soluble in water.

Lead (II) acetate

Lead acetate is an ionic compound of the formula [Pb (CH3COO)2], and leads us to a +2 oxidation state. It is a white crystalline solid. It is sweetness in nature. Also known as lead acetate, Saturn salt, lead sugar, or lead diacetate. The IUPAC name is lead (II) etanoate. Like other lead compounds, lead acetate is toxic in nature. However, it still has many uses. B. As a fixative and as a reagent for the synthesis of other compounds. It was also used as a sweetener but was soon banned due to its toxicity. It opened in the United States in 1944. Lead acetate (II) contains Pb+2 cations and  CH3COO anions. It is soluble in water. Commonly found as lead acetate trihydrate, it is also known as lead sugar because of its sweet taste. The molecular formula of lead acetate trihydrate is Pb (CH3COO)2.3H2O.

Preparation of Lead (II) acetate

It can be produced in two ways-

  • By the reaction of acetic acid, hydrogen peroxide, and elemental lead
  • By the reaction of copper acetate and lead metal

By the reaction of acetic acid with hydrogen and elemental lead -Elemental lead is boiled with acetic acid and hydrogen peroxide to become lead acetate and water. Instead of elemental lead, lead carbonate or lead oxide can be used. The reaction is as follows,

Pb(s) + H2O2(aq) + 2H + (aq) → Pb2(aq) + 2H2O(l)

Pb2(aq) + 2CH3COO(aq) → Pb (CH3COO)2 (aq)

By the reaction of copper acetate and lead metal – Lead metal replaces copper metal when it reacts with copper acetate and forms lead acetate by a simple substitution reaction. The formula is,

Cu(CH3COO)2 + Pb → Cu + Pb (CH3COO)2

Structure of Lead (II) acetate

It is an ionic compound produced by the reaction of lead elements and acetic acid. There is one Pb2+ ion and two CH3COO ions. Lead (II) acetate compounds contain a zero charge. This is because lead cations contain a +2 charge and each acetate anion contains one charge.


Properties of Lead acetate              

NameLead Acetate 
Another nameLead Acetate, Earthy Salt, Gullard Powder, Lead(II) Etanoate 
AppearanceColorless Fading Crystals or White Powder  
Boiling PointDecomposes
Melting Point 

280°C (anhydrous)
75°C (trihydrate)

22°C (decahydrate)

SolubilitySoluble in water

Chemical Properties of Lead acetate

Chemical properties include the decomposition of lead acetate and its chemical reaction with other acids. When heated, lead acetate decomposes to produce toxic lead and acetic acid gas. The following describes the various chemical reactions of lead acetate.

  •  Lead Acetate reaction with Hydrochloric Acid

Lead acetate reacts with hydrochloric acid to form lead chloride and acetic acid. The chemical equation can be expressed as

Pb(CH3COO)2 + 2HCl → PbCl2 + 2CH3COOH.

  • Lead Acetate reaction  with Sulphuric Acid 

When lead acetate reacts with sulfuric acid, lead sulfate and acetic acid are formed. The chemical equation can be expressed as

Pb(CH3COO)2 + Na2S → PbS + 2CH2COONa.

  •  Lead Acetate and Sodium Sulphide reaction

Lead acetate reacts with sodium sulfide to form black lead sulfide and sodium acetate. The chemical formula of the reaction can be expressed as,

Pb(CH3COO)2 + Na2S → PbS + 2CH3COONa.

  • Reaction of lead acetate and potassium iodide 

Lead iodide and potassium acetate are formed when lead acetate reacts with potassium iodide. The chemical reaction formula can be expressed as,

Pb(CH3COO)2 + 2KI → PbI2 + 2CH3COOK.

Applications of Lead Acetate

Lead Acetate is used in many different ways and these are,

  • It is sweet in taste and used as a sugar substitute in food and other products in the past time.
  • It is used as a laboratory reagent. 
  • It is used in cosmetics.
  • It is used in gold mining.
  • It is used as a binder in textile dyeing and printing.
  • It is used as a desiccant in varnishes and paints.

Sample problems

Question 1: Is lead acetate harmful? 


Lead acetate is toxic for humans. The inorganic lead compounds cause lung, brain, stomach, and kidney cancer in humans and kidney cancer in animals. 

Question 2: Is lead edible or not?


Lead acetate also called lead sugar, is (ironically) a sweet salt. This is a rather peculiar property in poisons that are more likely to taste bitter, a sign that it is not safe for tasters to consume.

Question 3: Why lead is harmful to humans?


Lead is harmful to humans because it destroys many enzymes in the cells of these organs. This causes symptoms such as muscle and joint pain, constipation, and general malaise. It damages the brain by disrupting the way brain cells send and transmit messages.

Question 4: Explain the process of removing lead from the body.


With the help of Chelation therapy, we can remove lead from the body. However, if you live in an old house with lead paint or lead pipes, this can be tricky, but it’s just as important as staying away from lead sources.

Question 5: How to determine lead acetate?


Lead acetate (II) and Pb(CH3COO)2 are sweet-tasting white crystalline materials that fall under one the trivial names of lead sugar, Saturn salt, and gulal powder, respectively. Lead acetate is water-soluble, soluble in glycerin, and toxic (like most lead compounds).

Question 6: Is lead acetate acidic or basic?


Basic acetate ion is generated in both lead acetate solution and potassium acetate solution. Its conjugate acid, acetic acid, is a weak acid and is therefore basic.

Question 7: How is the taste of lead acetate?


Lead acetate, also known as lead sugar, is a salt found in poisons of a rather unusual nature (ironically) that has a sweet and sour taste and is not safe to consume.

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