Chemistry of sodium hypochlorite An Assignment Submitted by Name of Student Name of Establishment Class XXXX, Section XXXX, Summer 2012 It is hard to imagine a modern household without bleaching agent. It is widely used as for disinfection and bleaching of clothes. The bleaching agent is a 3-5 % solution of sodium hypochlorite in water. It is produced by bubbling chlorine gas through diluted solution of sodium hydroxide: Cl2 (g) + 2 NaOH (aq) ! NaCl (aq) + NaClO (aq) + H2O (1) This is an example of a typical disproportionation reaction, where one substance (in our case Cl2 ) is reduced and oxidized at the same time (Lister & Renshaw, 2000). Here chlorine with oxidation level 0 is both reduced into chloride anion with oxidation level -1 and oxidized into hypochlorite with oxidation level +1. Sodium hypochlorite belongs to strong oxidizers. It can react with some household chemicals and medications. For example, hydrogen peroxide, used in first-aid kit, when accidentally mixed with sodium hypochlorite solution produces oxygen gas: H2O2 (aq) + NaClO (aq) ! NaCl(aq) + H2O (l) + O2 (g) (2) It can be seen from above given reaction that sodium hypochlorite is such a strong oxidizer that it can oxidize peroxide oxygen into the molecular oxygen.


CHEMISTRY OF SODIUM HYPOCHLORITE ! The reaction is largely irreversible due to the removal of gaseous oxygen from reaction zone. In chemical terms this is a reduction-oxidation reaction: Cl (+1) is reduced into Cl (-1) O (-1) is oxidized into O (0) Here hypochlorite ion is an oxidizing agent and peroxide ion is a reducing agent. A good indication that this reaction is running in the direction specified by the arrow is appearance of bubbles in the reaction mixture meaning the oxygen production in the reaction mixture. With regard to acid base interactions in the given reaction, let us first consider hydrogen peroxide. When dissolved in water the pH of the solution is around 5. Therefore it is considered a weak acid. At the same time sodium hypochlorite is a salt formed by strong base (sodium hydroxide) and weak acid (hypochlorous acid). In aqueous solutions such salt undergo hydrolysis with the release of hydroxyl anions thus forming alkaline solution. This reaction is endothermic. This can be proven by calculating the difference between standard enthalpies of formation of products and reactants: "H (H2O2)=-120.35 kJ/mol, "H (NaClO)=-347.3 kJ/mol, "H (NaCl)=-407.27 kJ/mol, "H (O2)=0 kJ/mol (Poling et al., 2008). "H (reaction)= (0-407.27)-(-120.35-347.3)=60.8 kJ/mol The positive value of enthalpy reaction change indicates endothermic nature of the given reaction.


CHEMISTRY OF SODIUM HYPOCHLORITE ! For the given reaction to be exergonic (meaning to occur spontaneously), the difference between free Gibbs energy of products and reactants should be negative. On the contrary, the positive value of free Gibbs energy difference indicates that the reaction is endergonic. The values of Gibbs energy are as follows: "G (H2O2)=-187.87 kJ/mol, "G (NaClO)=-298.7 kJ/mol, "G (NaCl)=-393 kJ/mol, "G (O2)=0 kJ/mol "G (reaction)= (0-393)-(-187.87-298.7)=93.57 kJ/mol. The obtained value of free energy of formation change suggests that the given reaction is endergonic and does not proceed spontaneously in written direction. Instead it driven by the formation of stable product and constant removal of oxygen from the reaction zone.




References Lister, T & Renshaw, J. Understanding Chemistry for Advanced Level. Nelson Thornes, 2000, p 154. Poling et al. (2008). Perry`s Chemical Engineers Handbook. McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.p. 2-186.

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CHEMISTRY OF SODIUM HYPOCHLORITE ! Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (Sixth ed.). (2010). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Cummings, J. N., Butler, B., & Kraut, R. (2002). The quality of online social relationships. Communications of the ACM, 45(7), 103-108. ! ! ! ! !! !


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