ChemistryBleaching Powder

Bleaching Powder

Bleaching powder is a chemical substance that has multiple applications. It is also known as calcium hypochlorite or calcium oxychloride.It is produced during the electrolysis of aqueous sodium chloride (brine). This chlorine gas is used for the manufacture of bleaching powder. Bleaching powder is produced by the action of chlorine on dry slaked lime [Ca(OH)2].

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    Bleaching powder is represented as CaOCl2, though the actual composition is quite complex. Although bleaching powder has a variety of purposes, bleaching powder is mainly used for bleaching clothes in laundromats, among other things. It is also utilised for cleaning drinkable water, disinfectants, and other purposes.

    Bleaching Powder

    Bleaching Powder

    Bleaching powder is also known as Chlorine or lime. It has a solid texture and yellowish-white colour. The bleaching powder has indicative chlorine odour. It is typically used to remove colour. It is called a bleaching agent.

    When bleaching powder is dissolved in water , a basic aqueous solution is formed. The basis for the operation of bleaching powder is oxidation. The ingredient that gives bleaching powder its bleaching properties is Chlorine. A calcium hydroxide molecule called slaked lime reacts to produce bleaching powder.

    Water is produced as a byproduct of the reaction between slaked lime and the chemical component chlorine, which produces bleaching powder (calcium oxychloride). The inorganic substance bleaching powder has the formula Ca(OCl)2. Although the compound is soluble in water, the mixture that results from adding this compound to water is not transparent because of the impurities.

    Chemical Name of Bleaching Powder: Calcium Hypochlorite

    Chemical Formula of Bleaching Powder: CaOCl2

    Structure of Bleaching Powder

    Bleaching powder’s structural formula calls for two chlorine atoms. One of these two atoms is correctly bound to the atoms that make up the chemical complex calcium. A link is formed between the oxygen atom and the other chlorine atom.

    Preparation of Bleaching Powder

    The apparatus, consisting of a tall cast-iron tower with a hopper at the top, two inlets near the base (one for hot air and the other for chlorine), and an exit for waste gases near the top, is ready to manufacture bleaching powder. The shelves on this tower are then equipped with revolving rakes and arranged at different heights. There are eight shelves altogether.

    The hopper is filled with slaked lime. Eventually, it moves slowly upward and comes into contact with chlorine. Next, the bleaching powder is gathered at the tower’s base in the barrel area. Slaked lime + chlorine + bleaching powder + water is the reaction that is employed in the reaction above.

    Ca(OH)2 (aq) + Cl2(aq) ⇢ CaOCl2(aq) + H2O(l)

    Essential requirements that must be followed to prepare the Bleaching Order

    • In nature, chlorine should be used carefully.
    • It is recommended to keep the temperature below 40°C.

    Properties of Bleaching Powder

    There are two areas in which the characteristics of bleaching powder can be examined:

    • Physical Characteristics of Powder Bleaching
    • The Chemical Composition of Bleaching Powder

    Physical Properties of Bleaching Powder

    The powder, known as bleaching powder, has a strong chlorine odour and is pale yellow. Among its physical characteristics are It produces chlorine by a reaction with dilute acids.

    With cold water, it dissolves. After dilution, the lime is left as an insoluble residue.

    The bleaching powder releases chlorine when it reacts with too much of a diluted acid, like diluted sulfuric acid.

    As a result, bleaching powder reacts with dilute acid to form chlorine, which functions as a bleaching agent. Thus, the bleaching agent in bleaching powder is chlorine.

    Chemical Properties of Bleaching Powder

    Among the many chemical properties of bleaching powder are the following: when bleaching powder and dilute sulfuric acid react, calcium sulphate and chlorine gas are created, along with water.

    CaOCl2 + H2SO4 → CaSO4 + Cl2 + H2O

    Calcium carbonate and chlorine gas are produced when bleaching powder and CO2 combine.

    CaOCl2 + CO2 → CaCO3 + Cl2

    Calcium carbonate and chlorine gas are produced when bleaching powder and CO2 combine.

    CaOCl2 + 2HCl → CaCl2 + Cl2 + H2O

    The chlorine released in various reactions of bleaching powder releases chlorine gas, which is used as a bleaching reagent.

    pH of Bleaching Powder

    Bleaching powder is a fundamental substance with a pH of 11, and it is used for household applications. Therefore, bleaching powder irritates human skin when it comes into contact with it.

    The pH of concentrated bleaching powder is 13, indicating that it contains a high concentration of sodium hypochlorite (10–15%). It is, hence, very alkaline.

    Uses of Bleaching Powder

    1. Water Treatment: Bleaching powder is used to disinfect and purify water by eliminating bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. It is frequently used in wastewater treatment facilities, swimming pools, and water treatment plants.
    2. Disinfectant: It kills germs and stops the transmission of illnesses, it is used as a disinfectant in a variety of settings, including homes, labs, and hospitals, to sanitise surfaces, tools, and equipment.
    3. Textile Industry: It is mainly used to bleach and sanitise fabrics in the textile industry, when producing cotton and linen products.
    4. Whitening Agent: It is used to whiten or brighten the finished products, Bleaching powder is used in the production of paper, pulp, and some chemicals.
    5. Food Industry: It is sometimes used in the food processing industry as a disinfectant or for cleaning purposes.
    6. Removal of Mould and Mildew: This ingredient is used in cleaning products to get rid of mould and mildew from surfaces in kitchens, bathrooms, and other places where moisture can accumulate.
    7. Veterinary and Agricultural: Used to sterilise equipment and uphold hygienic standards in livestock facilities, as well as for disinfecting reasons in veterinary procedures and animal husbandry.
    8. Chemical Industry: It is employed in a variety of chemical reactions and procedures to produce specific chemicals as an oxidising agent.
    9. Preservation: Bleaching powder is occasionally used to keep pests out of storage facilities and preserve seeds.

    FAQs on Bleaching Powder

    What is Bleaching Powder?

    The chemical compound known as bleaching powder has a strong chlorine odour and is pale yellow. It is a powerful oxidising agent that is employed in bleaching processes

    What is the chemical name for Bleaching Powder?

    The chemical name for bleaching powder is calcium oxide.

    Is Bleaching Powder Acidic or Basic?

    Bleaching powder is a base because it combines with acids to produce chlorine gas.

    What is bleaching powder used in?

    This substance has multiple uses, such as cleaning stained clothing in the laundry and acting as a bleaching agent for cotton and linen in the textile industry. Additionally, it serves as a powerful oxidizing agent, finding applications in various industries. It's also employed as a disinfectant to purify water, making it safe to drink.

    Is bleaching powder harmful?

    Sodium hypochlorite is a chemical that is often present in bleach, water purifiers, and cleaning items. Sodium hypochlorite is a corrosive substance, and if it comes into contact with body tissues, it can cause harm. Ingesting sodium hypochlorite can result in poisoning.

    Is bleaching powder good for skin?

    Using skin bleaching products may result in different side effects like skin irritation, redness, and dryness. In certain situations, it might even cause your skin to look uneven or discolored. If you use these products for a long time, it could also make you more likely to get skin cancer and other serious health issues.

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