Chlorine (bleach) and alcohol (ethanol?).

  • Thread starter APeterson
  • Start date
  • #1
6
0
I recently saw a few videos on Youtube of people making a reaction by putting chlorine and alcohol together in a bottle. For the life of me I can't figure out why that reaction would work, and I wondered if anybody could give me an equation. Thanks.
 
Last edited:

Answers and Replies

  • #2
11
0
I'm guessing that hypochlorite oxidizes alcohol yielding carboxylic acid and chlorine gas.
 
  • #3
Borek
Mentor
28,545
2,983
I'm guessing that hypochlorite oxidizes alcohol yielding carboxylic acid and chlorine gas.
If there is chlorine in products there was no oxidation.
 
  • #4
11
0
Chlorine had an oxidation state of +1 before the reaction. Afterwards, it is 0. Chlorine gains an electron in the reaction and thus it oxidizes something.
 
  • #5
Borek
Mentor
28,545
2,983
Original question called for the presence of chlorine, not hypochlorite.
 
  • #6
11
0
I was guessing that the original question (and the Youtube videos) referred to chlorine as household bleach.
 
  • #7
Borek
Mentor
28,545
2,983
And it is quite possible you were right, I was just nitpicking :tongue2:
 
  • #8
6
0
Hmm. Thanks guys. I don't know if it was bleach or not, but I'm pretty confident it wasn't plain old Cl2. ;)
 
  • #9
chemisttree
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
3,451
491
I believe it was calcium hypochlorite tablets or granules. Pretty concentrated hypochlorite. Household bleach is only about 5-6% hypochlorite in solution. The tablets are something like 70% active chlorine so they are a lot more reactive than bleach when heated. The heat is the thing that releases the chlorine rapidly. Once the reaction starts, the tablets heat up, decompose, produce lots of heat and gaseous products (like chlorine). It's autocatalytic with respect to heat and the decomposition product, chlorine, is quite reactive with hot isopropanol.

Edit: If you are interested in the mechanism or products produced, review "Haloform Reaction". Great Google term.
 
Last edited:

Related Threads on Chlorine (bleach) and alcohol (ethanol?).

Replies
22
Views
22K
Replies
9
Views
53K
Replies
1
Views
2K
Replies
3
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
10K
  • Last Post
Replies
12
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
6
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
18K
  • Last Post
Replies
10
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
69K
Top