If you weren't a chemist, you'd know sodium hypochlorite (NaClO) as bleach, or possibly as the "chlorine" you put in your swimming pool or spa. NaClO solution is a convenient way to handle chlorine in an aqueous solution; it is prepared by absorbing chlorine gas in sodium hydroxide solution. Industrially, NaClO solution is produced directly by electrolyzing sodium chloride solution.
August 9, 2021
Sodium hypochlorite (NaClO) has been widely used for >200 years; but until now, the crystal structure of its pentahydrate (the normal solid form) had not been established. Tomislav Friščić and co-workers at McGill University (Montreal), working at –100 °C because NaClO•5H2O liquefies at ambient temperature, determined the structure of a single crystal, shown. The structure consists of alternating layers of Na+ and ClO– ions “glued” together by water molecules.
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