Chlorate

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A chlorate is chemical compound containing the ClO3 ion.

General properties

Chlorates are powerful oxidizers and should be kept away from organics or easily oxidized materials. Mixtures of chlorate salts with virtually any combustible material (sugar, sawdust, charcoal, organic solvents, metals, etc.) will readily deflagrate.

Mixtures of potassium chlorate and sulfur are very sensitive to friction, and are know to detonate when subjected to shock or friction.

Ammonium chlorate is highly unstable in both solution and solid, and has been known to spontaneously detonate at room temperature.

Availability

Sodium and potassium chlorates were available in the past as weedkiller, but due to their hazards they're been banned in many countries.

Preparation

Chlorates can be prepared via electrolysis of a hot solution of chloride (~70 °C). Potassium chloride is the most commonly used starting material.

2 Cl → Cl2 + 2 e
Cl2 + H2O ⇌ HClO + Cl + H+
3 HClO → ClO3 + 2 Cl + 3 H+

Another route involves adding chlorine to hot metal hydroxides like potassium hydroxide:

3 Cl2 + 6 KOH → 5 KCl + KClO3 + 3 H2O

Safety

Chlorates are powerful oxdizers.

Chlorates are toxic if ingested.

References

Relevant Sciencemadness threads