Chlorate refers to any molecule that contains the chlorate anion, most often metal salts of chloric acid. Chlorine has an oxidation state of +5 in these ions. Chlorate oxyanion is indicated by roman numerals in parenthesis, for example, Chlorate oxyanion (VII). In the lab, they may be made by adding chlorine to heated metal hydroxides such as KOH. They are extremely potent oxidising agents that are utilised in bleaching paper, herbicides, medicines, explosives, and other applications. Sodium Chlorate is the most common type of chlorate (NaClO3). Because they are strong oxidizers, they should be stored away from organics and quickly oxidised materials. Combinations of chlorates with almost any flammable substance (sawdust, sugar, organic solvents, charcoal, metals, etc.) can also explode. Because of this, chlorates were once widely used in pyrotechnics, although their use has since declined due to their instability.
Structure of Chlorate
The chemical formula of chlorate is ClO3-. Furthermore, because all of the Cl-O bonds are the same length (1.49 in potassium chlorate), we cannot adequately describe it by one Lewis structure. Furthermore, the chlorine atom is hypervalent. Instead, it is often seen as a combination of various resonance structures.
Preparation of Chlorate
Sodium Chlorate Industrial Preparation
On a large scale, we prepare chlorates by starting the synthesis for sodium chlorate with aqueous sodium chloride (brine) rather than chlorine gas. Furthermore, if the electrolysis apparatus allows for the mixing of chlorine and sodium hydroxide, the disappropriation process occurs. Furthermore, the electrical power required for electrolysis is used to heat the reactants to 50-70°C.
Chlorate Preparation in Laboratory
Metal chlorates can be produced in the laboratory by adding chlorine to heated metal hydroxide. For example, to make potassium chlorate (KClO3) add chlorine to hot potassium hydroxide (KOH). This is an example of a disproportionation or dismutation process, in which Cl is reduced and oxidation from oxidation state 0 to -1 and +5, respectively.
3Cl2 + 6 KOH → 5 KCl + KClO3 + 3 H2O
Uses of Chlorate
- Chlorates have a variety of commercial applications. Sodium chlorate is the most widely used chlorate chemical (NaClO3).
- They are often used as bleaching agents for paper, dyes, and cleaning agents.
- They are utilized in insecticides and herbicides.
FAQs on Chlorate Formula
Question 1: Is chlorate acidic or basic in nature?
It is a strong acid and oxidizer that decomposes when heated beyond 40°C. It produces oxygen, water, and the explosive gas chlorine dioxide, ClO2 under some conditions; under other conditions, it produces perchloric acid and hydrochloric acid.
Question 2: Where can you find chlorate?
Chlorate is an inorganic chemical that is a recognised byproduct of the drinking water disinfection process, formed when sodium or calcium hypochlorite (chlorine) or chlorine dioxide are utilized in the disinfection process.
Question 3: Mention a way for reducing chlorate toxicity before releasing it into the environment.
Chlorates are poisonous substances that can have serious consequences if consumed or merely come into touch with them. When consumed, they might induce stomach discomfort, diarrhoea, nausea, and other symptoms. As a result, releasing chlorates into free water is extremely dangerous to living beings. At high temperatures, chlorates quickly breakdown to create chlorides and oxygen. So, rather than releasing chlorates into the environment, we may decompose them into harmless chlorides first.
Question 4: How can we minimize chlorate in water?
Water suppliers can reduce chlorate ion generation during disinfection by following best practises such as preventing exposure to light sources, decreasing storage time, keeping optimum pH, and handling chemicals involved in the process.
Question 5: What exactly is the distinction between chlorate and perchlorate?
The primary distinction between chlorate and perchlorate is that chlorate is the anion formed by the dissociation of chloric acid, whereas perchlorate is the anion formed by the dissociation of perchloric acid. Chlorate and perchlorate are oxyanions that include atoms of chlorine and oxygen.
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