Difference Between Chloride and Chlorate

Main Difference – Chloride vs Chlorate

Chloride and chlorate are chlorine-containing anions. They carry a negative electrical charge. The chloride ion is given as Cl and the chlorate ion is given as ClO3. Both are able to undergo oxidation reactions because they can be further oxidized. The main difference between chlorine and chlorate is that chloride cannot undergo reduction reactions whereas chlorate easily undergoes reduction reactions.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Chloride
      – Definition, Properties
2. What is Chlorate
     – Definition, Properties, Production
3. What are the Similarities Between Chloride and Chlorate
     – Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Chloride and Chlorate
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms: Anion, Chlorate, Chlorine, Oxidation, Oxidizer, Reduction

Difference Between Chloride and Chlorate - Comparison Summary

What is Chloride

The term chloride refers to the anion given as Cl. It is an anion derived from a chlorine atom. Since a chlorine atom is composed of 17 electrons, it has an unstable electron configuration due to the incomplete orbital filling. Therefore, chlorine atoms are very reactive and form chloride ions by obtaining an electron from the outside. This incoming electron occupies the outermost orbital of the chlorine atom. But there aren’t enough positive charges in the chlorine nucleus to neutralize the negative charge of that electron. Hence, it forms an anion called chloride ion. A common example of a compound containing a chloride ion is table salt or sodium chloride.

Difference Between Chloride and Chlorate

Figure 1: Calcium chloride is a Compound Containing Chloride Anion

Chloride ion has 18 electrons. The electron configuration is similar to that of an Argon atom. It is less reactive, and its electronegativity is also very less. It tends to repel any other incoming electron due to its negative charge.

Compounds that contain Chloride ion are generally called chlorides. Most of these chlorides are water soluble. When these compounds are dissolved in water, the anion and the cation are separated from each other. Since these ions are electrically charged ions, a solution composed of chloride ions and any other cation can conduct an electric current through the solution.

What is Chlorate

The term chlorate refers to the anion having the chemical formula ClO3. It is derived from the acid dissociation of HClO3 (chloric acid). In this anion, the oxidation state of a chlorine atom is +5. However, the term chlorate sometimes refers to compounds composed of chlorate anion. These compounds are salts of chloric acid. According to the VSEPR theory, the geometry of the chlorate anion is trigonal pyramidal because there is a lone pair is present on the chlorine atom. The molar mass of chlorate ion is 83.44 g/mol.

Main Difference - Chloride vs Chlorate

Figure 2: Chlorate Anion- Chemical Structure

Compounds containing chlorate anion are considered as strong oxidizers. This is because the chlorine atoms in the anion are in the +5 oxidation state, which can be reduced to form Cl2 gas (in which the oxidation state of chlorine is zero). Therefore, chlorate compounds should be kept away from easily oxidizable materials.

There are two major ways of producing chlorate compounds:

Laboratory Method

Here, the metal chlorates are formed by the reaction between metal hydroxides and hot chlorine gas. For example;

3 Cl2 + 6 KOH → 5 KCl + KClO3 + 3 H2O

This reaction involves the disproportionation of chlorine gas (it undergoes both oxidation and reduction reactions). Oxidation of Cl2 forms chlorate ion whereas the reduction of it forms Cl (chloride anion).

Industrial Method

In the industrial scale production of chlorate, brine solution (sodium chloride) is used. Here, electrolysis is done, and a reaction that is similar to the above reaction takes place.

Similarities Between Chloride and Chlorate

  • Both are chlorine-containing compounds.
  • Both are anions.
  • Both carry a negative electrical charge.
  • Both are capable of undergoing oxidation.

Difference Between Chloride and Chlorate

Definition

Chloride: The terms chloride refers to the anion given as Cl.

Chlorate: The term chlorate refers to the anion having the chemical formula ClO3.

Molar Mass

Chloride: The molar mass of chloride ion is 35.45 g/mol.

Chlorate: The molar mass of chlorate ion is 83.44 g/mol.

Origin

Chloride: Chloride ion is derived from dissociation of HCl acid or any other chloride compound.

Chlorate: Chlorate ion is derived from the dissociation of HClO3 (chloric acid) or any other chlorate containing compound.

Oxidation State of Chlorine Atom

Chloride: Oxidation state of chlorine in chloride is -1.

Chlorate: Oxidation state of chlorine in chlorate is +5.

Geometry

Chloride: Chloride ion is a singular atom.

Chlorate: Chlorate ions is polyatomic and has trigonal pyramidal geometry.

Oxidation and Reduction

Chloride: Chloride ion can undergo oxidation but not reduction.

Chlorate: Chlorate ion can undergo both oxidation and reduction.

Conclusion

Chloride and chlorate are chlorine-containing anions. Chloride anion is derived from HCl acid dissociation or any other dissociation of a chloride compound. Chlorate ion is derived from the dissociation of HClO3 (chloric acid) or any other chlorate containing compound. The main difference between chlorine and chlorate is that chloride cannot undergo reduction reactions whereas chlorate easily undergoes reduction reactions.

Reference:

1. “Chlorate.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 5 Feb. 2018, Available here.
2. “Chlorate.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Compound Database, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Available here.
3. “Chloride.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 4 Feb. 2018, Available here.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Calcium chloride CaCl2″ By Firetwister assumed  –  Own work assumed (based on copyright claims) (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Chlorate-2D” By Benjah-bmm27 – Own work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Madhusha

Madhusha is a BSc (Hons) graduate in the field of Biological Sciences and is currently pursuing for her Masters in Industrial and Environmental Chemistry. Her interest areas for writing and research include Biochemistry and Environmental Chemistry.

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