Difference Between Chloride and Chlorate

Main difference

The main difference between chloride and chlorate is that chloride is a monatomic ion like Cl  while chlorate is a polyatomic ion like ClO  .

Chloride vs. Chlorate

Chloride is the ion that is derived from the dissociation of HCl or other chloride compounds by gaining an electron, while chlorate is the type of polyatomic ion derived from the dissociation of hydrochloric acid (HClO 3 ) or other compounds that contain the chlorates. Chlorides have the negatively charged oxidation state in chlorine as -1 in Cl  . Chlorate has the positive charge oxidation state in chlorine as +5 in ClO  .

Chloride is the monatomic ion consisting of a single atom while chlorate is the polyatomic ion consisting of chlorine and three oxygen atoms. Chloride can easily undergo oxidation and chlorate can also undergo redox reaction (oxidation and reduction). According to the VSEPR (Valance Shell Electron Pair Repulsion) theory, chlorate has the trigonal pyramidal geometry.

The molar mass of chloride is 35.45 gmol -1 , while the molar mass of chlorate is 83.45 gmol -1 . Chlorides are biologically more important as they play a role in maintaining the internal cellular environment (homeostasis). The essential chloride-containing compound is NaCl (table salt), while the chlorate compounds included are magnesium chlorate, potassium chlorate, etc.

Comparison chart

Chloride Chlorate
Chlorides are compounds that contain the monatomic ion Cl  . Chlorates are the compounds that contain polyatomic chlorates such as ClO  .
Oxidation state of chlorine
-1 of Cl  +5 ClO 
Oxidation and reduction
Suffers oxidation only undergo oxidation and reduction.
monatomic ion Polyatomic has a trigonal pyramidal structure
It originates from the dissociation of HCl or other chloride compounds. It is from hydrochloric acid (HClO 3 ) or other chlorate-containing compounds.
molar mass
35.45g/mol 83.45g/mol
NaCl, KCl, BaCl KClO3 , NaClO3 , etc.
What is chloride?

Chloride is the anion that forms by gaining the electron as Cl  . Chloride is the monatomic anion that is formed by the dissociation of chloride-containing compounds, such as HCl. Chloride is much larger than the chlorine atom because an extra electron in its orbital is unstable. Chlorides are a very reactive form of ions. Chlorides only oxidize and therefore the presence of chlorides can cause extreme pinhole corrosion (pitting corrosion) of most metals such as aluminum alloys, stainless steel, etc.

In the biological field, Cl  ions act as the primary electrolyte in cell homeostasis. They also play a role in action potential transmission (occurs when the membrane potential rises and falls rapidly) in neurons. The regulation of chloride concentration occurs through the kidneys of the human body. It is also the structural component of some proteins such as amylase enzymes.

Chlorides form salts with metal, and when dissolved in water, they form chlorides, since chloride salts are soluble in water. An example of chloride is sodium chloride (NaCl); Common chloride is considered as table salt and is very soluble in water. As an electrolyte, it is found in all body fluids involved in maintaining acid-base balance, fluid regulation, and transmission of nerve impulses. Other examples are NH 4 Cl (ammonium chloride), MgCl 2 (magnesium chloride), CaCl 2 (calcium chloride), Hg 2 Cl 2 (mercury chloride).

What is chlorate?

Chlorate also means any chlorine oxyanion such as ClO  . Chlorate anion (ClO  ) is the salt of chloric acid derived from the dissociation of chloric acid (HClO 3 ) and other chlorate-containing compounds. It can be presented in the form of compounds such as crystalline, colorless crystals or granules. Chlorate has an oxidation state of +5 to chlorine as a polyatomic anion consisting of chlorine and three oxygen atoms. It has the geometry of the trigonal pyramidal, as explained by the VSEPR theory.

Chlorates occur naturally in relatively high concentrations in arid and hyperarid regions of the earth. They have the property that mixtures of their salts with combustible compounds such as organic solvents, sawdust, etc. they can easily deflagrate, which is the process of combustion by heat transfer. Chlorates, when exposed to flammable materials, cause explosions due to the decomposition of the chlorate ion under oxygen which releases heat, accelerating the combustion process.

Chlorate is considered to comprise the multiple resonance structures in hybrid form. Chlorates undergo an oxidation and reduction reaction as they also serve as powerful oxidants.

Some of the chlorates also form compounds with other oxidation states such as +1, +3, +5, +7 of hypochlorite, chlorite, chlorate, and perchlorate, respectively.

On an industrial scale, the chlorate compound, sodium chlorate (NaClO 3 ), can be synthesized from brine (aqueous NaCl solution). It can be achieved by the reaction of chlorine and sodium hydroxide at 50-70°C.

  • KClO 3 : most common chlorate in industry
  • NaClO 3 : prepared from sodium chloride has wide application in whitening paper
  • Mg (ClO 3 ) 2 : white compound soluble in water

Key differences

  1. Chloride ion is represented as Cl  , while chlorate ion is represented as ClO  .
  2. Chloride is an anion that forms from the dissociation of HCl, while chlorate ion is produced from HClO 3.
  3. Chloride is a monatomic anion that has only one chlorine atom; on the other hand, chlorate is the polyatomic anion with chlorine and three oxygen atoms.
  4. Chloride ion undergoes oxidation only can be easily oxidized while chlorate ion undergoes redox reaction like oxidation and reduction.
  5. The chloride has a molar mass of 35.45 g/mol; the chlorate has a molar mass of about 83.45 g/mol.
  6. The oxidation state of Cl  is -1; on the other hand, the oxidation state of ClO  is +5.
  7. Chloride is monatomic; in contrast, chlorate is polyatomic and has trigonal pyramidal geometry.

Final Thoughts

Chloride is the dissociation anion of HCl and other chloride compounds with a -1 oxidation state, while chlorate is the dissociation anion of chloric acid that has a +5 oxidation state.

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