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Is it possible to find this without knowing it? (ingredients in bleach)

  1. Jan 21, 2016 #1

    TT0

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    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    An active ingredient in common household bleach solutions is most likely to be which of the following?

    A)NaCl
    B)NaClO
    C)NaHCO3
    D)Na2SO4
    E)HC2H3O2

    2. Relevant equations
    -

    3. The attempt at a solution
    So bleach is a cleaning agent and most cleaning agents are basic so then the salt needs to be a basic salt (so formed from a weak acid). This eliminates A and D. E won't be it cause it is a weak acid. This leaves B and C. The weak acid is hypochlorous acid and carbonic acid respectively. But I can't choose between the 2. I only found out by googling bleach. Is there a way to solve it or do you just need to know that bleach contains sodium hypochlorite?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 21, 2016 #2

    Borek

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    Staff: Mentor

    Hint: the way bleach works is it oxidizes everything.
     
  4. Jan 21, 2016 #3

    TT0

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    I am guessing that ClO- is a better oxidising agent than HCO3- but I am not sure why...or how it helps me solve the problem...
     
  5. Jan 22, 2016 #4

    Borek

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    Staff: Mentor

    Nothing to guess here - hypochlorite is highly reactive, after all its properties are related to chlorine with which it is in equilibrium:

    Cl2 + H2O ↔ HOCl + HCl

    Carbonic acid is just a weak acid, without oxidizing properties.

    Well, question asks for

    so a strong oxidizer sounds much better than an anemic acid, doesn't it?
     
  6. Jan 22, 2016 #5

    TT0

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    Thanks
     
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