Potassium hypochlorite

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Potassium hypochlorite
Names
IUPAC name
Potassium hypochlorite
Properties
KClO
Molar mass 90.55 g/mol
Appearance Light gray liquid
Odor Chlorine-like
Density 1.160 g/cm3
Melting point −2 °C (28 °F; 271 K)
Boiling point 102 °C (216 °F; 375 K) (decomposes)
25%
Solubility Reacts with alcohols, aldehydes, ketones
Hazards
Flash point Non-flammable
Related compounds
Related compounds
Sodium hypochlorite
Calcium hypochlorite
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Infobox references

Potassium hypochlorite is the potassium salt of hypochlorous acid, with the chemical formula KClO.

Properties

Chemical

Potassium hypochlorite rapidly disproportionates into potassium chloride and chloride.

3 KClO → KClO3 + 2 KCl

Physical

Potassium hypochlorite is an unstable compound that mainly occurs in solution.

Availability

Potassium hypochlorite is not readily available and has to be made.

Preparation

Potassium hypochlorite is produced by the reaction of chlorine with a solution of potassium hydroxide. This can be done by bubbling chlorine gas in a cooled solution of KOH, similar to the method used for the production of NaClO,

2 KOH + Cl2 → KCl + KClO + H2O

Electrolysis of potassium chloride solution will also produce potassium hypochlorite.

With both methods, the reaction mixture must be kept cold to prevent formation of potassium chlorate.

Projects

  • Make potassium chlorate and perchlorate

Handling

Safety

Like sodium hypochlorite, potassium hypochlorite is a powerful oxidizer and very corrosive. Addition of acid will liberate large amounts of chlorine gas.

Storage

Potassium hypochlorite is unstable and can only be stored for short periods of time at low temperatures.

Disposal

Potassium hypochlorite can be neutralized with a reducing agent, like sodium thiosulfate, sulfite or metabisulfite, or just heated to turn it into the more useful potassium hypochlorite.

References

Relevant Sciencemadness threads