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Chlorous Acid Formula – Structure, Properties, Uses, Sample Questions

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  • Last Updated : 07 Apr, 2022

Hydrogen(H) has unique kind of properties that are not like other components on our planet. Close to 66% of our Universe’s mass is made out of this unique component. It is both electropositive as well as electronegative and its structure has hydrogen particle H+ as well as hydride particle H. Hydrogen components are the main oxidants for some synthetic substances in the air and are associated with the patterns of numerous substance families. Hydrogen is utilized to make ammonia (NH3).

Chlorine (Cl) is a greenish-yellow gas. It has a pungent odor-like smell. It has a boiling point of 239.11K and a Melting point of 171.6K. The gas is harmful to nature, it is 2-5 times denser than air. Its atomic number is 17. It is the 2nd lightest halogen among all the elements. It has two isotopes, that are stable. Through the process of oxidation, chlorine can be bleached. Chlorine when reacted with water forms hydrochloric acid and hypochlorous acid.

Chlorous acid

Chlorous acid is an inorganic compound, it is a weak acid. In this acid, Chlorine has a +3 oxidation state. The pure substance present in chlorous acid is unstable and it is disproportionated to hypochlorous acid and chloric acid. This acid is difficult to be obtained in its pure form. This acid has a conjugate base called chlorite and it is stable. It is also known as Chloride secure. This compound can be obtained by reacting barium or lead chlorite with dilute sulfuric acid. This acid consists of one chlorine atom, one hydrogen atom, and two oxygen atoms.

Chlorous Acid formula

The chemical formula of Chlorous acid is HClO2. This compound can be obtained by reacting barium or lead chlorite with dilute sulfuric acid. 

Ba(ClO2)2 + H2SO4 → BaSO4 + 2 HClO2.

Pb(ClO2)2 + H2SO4 → PbSO4 + 2 HClO2.

Structure of Chlorous Acid

The chemical formula of Chlorous acid is HClO2. The molar weight of this acid is 68.46g/mol. The formation of the structure takes place by one proton H+, whose attachment is to a chlorite anion ClO2-.  

 

Physical Properties of Chlorous Acid

  • Chlorous acid is a colorless liquid, without a characteristic aroma. 
  • This acid acts as a strong oxidizing agent. 
  • Chlorous acid is also incompatible with reducing agents and alkalis.
  •  It is commonly used as a mouthwash for the reduction of plaque.
  • Chlorous acid has a 1.96 pKa and its determination takes place as the stability of the conjugate base of an acid is determined. The value of 1.96 pKa indicates that the conjugated base chlorite ClO2- is stable.  
  • The boiling point of chlorous acid is 502.07°C.

Chemical Properties of Chlorous Acid

  • Chlorous acid is unstable and it reacts to gives results in the formation of  chloric acid and hypochlorous acid, one of them comes due to the reduction of Cl3+ to Cl1+, while the second is from the oxidation of Cl3+ to Cl5+

2HClO2 → HClO + HClO3

  • Chlorous acid acts as a powerful oxidizing agent.
  • The tendency of chlorous acid is disproportionation to its oxidizing potential.
  • Chlorine is the only halogen that gives the formation of an isolable acid of formula HXO2.

Uses of Chlorous Acid

  • This acid acts as a strong oxidizing agent.
  • Chlorous acid is also incompatible with reducing agents and alkalis. 
  • It is commonly used as a mouthwash for the reduction of plaque. 
  • The conjugated base chlorite is used as the sodium salt. 
  • This salt is used in some industrial processes like chlorine dioxide production.

Sample Questions

Question 1: What are chlorous acid and its formula?

Answer:

Chlorous acid  is an inorganic compound, it is a weak acid. In this acid Chlorine has +3 oxidation state. The pure substance present in chlorous acid is unstable and it is disproportionates to hypochlorous acid and chloric acid. This acid is difficult to be obtained in its pure form. This acid has conjugate base called chlorite and it is stable. It is also known as Chloride saeure.

The formula of Chlorous acid is HClO2.

Question 2:  What are the  Hazards of Chlorous Acid

Answer:  

Chlorous acid can be very harmful if someone swallows or inhales it. It can cause severe damage to mucous, skin and eyes. If someone wears contact lenses and chlorous acid comes into contact with the eyes, then one must immediately take them off and wash the eyes with water for 15 minutes by keeping the eyelids open.  Also, one must avoid the use of any ointment. In case this acid comes into contact with the clothing, then one must quickly remove the clothing and take a bath immediately. 

Question 3: Is chlorous acid a liquid?

Answer: 

Yes, Chlorous acid is a colourless liquid. It will be  accelerated, burning of combustible materials and can be burnt most on contact. It is always corrosive to metals and tissue. It is used as a reagent in making many other chemicals.

Question 4: How is Chlorous acid formed?

Answer: 

HClO2 can be prepared by reacting barium or lead chlorite with dilute sulfuric acid.

Ba(ClO2)2 + H2SO4 → BaSO4 + 2 HClO2.

Pb(ClO2)2 + H2SO4 → PbSO4 + 2 HClO2

Question 5: What type of compound is Chlorous acid?

Answer: 

Chlorous acid is an inorganic compound with chemical formula HClO2. In this acid, Chlorine has oxidation state of  +3. The pure substance of this acid  is unstable and disproportionating to hypochlorous acid and chloric acid. This acid is difficult to be obtained in its pure natural form.

Question 6: What is the anion for Chlorous acid?

Answer: 

The Anion of chlorous acid is ClO2- and the anion name chlorite acid. It has one chlorine atom and 2 oxygen atoms.

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