Salt (chemistry)

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In chemistry, a salt is a chemical compound consisting of an ionic assembly of positively charged cations and negatively charged anions, which results in a compound with no net electric charge. [1] A common example is table salt, with positively charged sodium ions and negatively charged chloride ions.

Contents

The component ions in a salt compound can be either inorganic, such as chloride (Cl), or organic, such as acetate (CH
3
COO
). Each ion can be either monatomic, such as fluoride (F), or polyatomic, such as sulfate (SO2−
4
).

Types of salt

Salts can be classified in a variety of ways. Salts that produce hydroxide ions when dissolved in water are called alkali salts and salts that produce hydrogen ions when dissolved in water are called acid salts . Neutral salts are those salts that are neither acidic nor basic. Zwitterions contain an anionic and a cationic centre in the same molecule, but are not considered salts. Examples of zwitterions are amino acids, many metabolites, peptides, and proteins. [2]

Properties

BMIM PF6, an ionic liquid ILfromOS.svg
BMIM PF6, an ionic liquid

Color

Solid salts tend to be transparent, as illustrated by sodium chloride. In many cases, the apparent opacity or transparency are only related to the difference in size of the individual monocrystals. Since light reflects from the grain boundaries (boundaries between crystallites), larger crystals tend to be transparent, while the polycrystalline aggregates look like opaque powders or masses.

Salts exist in many different colors, which arise either from their constituent anions, cations or solvates. For example:

Few minerals are salts, because they would be solubilized by water.[ dubious ][ clarification needed ] Similarly, inorganic pigments tend not to be salts, because insolubility is required for fastness. Some organic dyes are salts, but they are virtually insoluble in water.

Taste

Different salts can elicit all five basic tastes, e.g., salty (sodium chloride), sweet (lead diacetate, which will cause lead poisoning if ingested), sour (potassium bitartrate), bitter (magnesium sulfate), and umami or savory (monosodium glutamate).

Odor

Salts of strong acids and strong bases ("strong salts") are non-volatile and often odorless, whereas salts of either weak acids or weak bases ("weak salts") may smell like the conjugate acid (e.g., acetates like acetic acid (vinegar) and cyanides like hydrogen cyanide (almonds) or the conjugate base (e.g., ammonium salts like ammonia) of the component ions. That slow, partial decomposition is usually accelerated by the presence of water, since hydrolysis is the other half of the reversible reaction equation of formation of weak salts.

Solubility

Many ionic compounds exhibit significant solubility in water or other polar solvents. Unlike molecular compounds, salts dissociate in solution into anionic and cationic components. The lattice energy, the cohesive forces between these ions within a solid, determines the solubility. The solubility is dependent on how well each ion interacts with the solvent, so certain patterns become apparent. For example, salts of sodium, potassium and ammonium are usually soluble in water. Notable exceptions include ammonium hexachloroplatinate and potassium cobaltinitrite. Most nitrates and many sulfates are water-soluble. Exceptions include barium sulfate, calcium sulfate (sparingly soluble), and lead(II) sulfate, where the 2+/2− pairing leads to high lattice energies. For similar reasons, most metal carbonates are not soluble in water. Some soluble carbonate salts are: sodium carbonate, potassium carbonate and ammonium carbonate.

Conductivity

Edge-on view of portion of crystal structure of hexamethyleneTTF/TCNQ charge transfer salt. SegStackEdgeOnHMTFCQ.jpg
Edge-on view of portion of crystal structure of hexamethyleneTTF/TCNQ charge transfer salt.

Salts are characteristically insulators. Molten salts or solutions of salts conduct electricity. For this reason, liquified (molten) salts and solutions containing dissolved salts (e.g., sodium chloride in water) can be used as electrolytes.

Melting point

Salts characteristically have high melting points. For example, sodium chloride melts at 801 °C. Some salts with low lattice energies are liquid at or near room temperature. These include molten salts, which are usually mixtures of salts, and ionic liquids, which usually contain organic cations. These liquids exhibit unusual properties as solvents.

Nomenclature

The name of a salt starts with the name of the cation (e.g., sodium or ammonium) followed by the name of the anion (e.g., chloride or acetate). Salts are often referred to only by the name of the cation (e.g., sodium salt or ammonium salt) or by the name of the anion (e.g., chloride salt or acetate salt).

Common salt-forming cations include:

Common salt-forming anions (parent acids in parentheses where available) include:

Salts with varying number of hydrogen atoms replaced by cations as compared to their parent acid can be referred to as monobasic, dibasic, or tribasic, identifying that one, two, or three hydrogen atoms have been replaced; polybasic salts refer to those with more than one hydrogen atom replaced. Examples include:

Formation

Solid lead(II) sulfate (PbSO4) Lead(II) sulfate.jpg
Solid lead(II) sulfate (PbSO4)

Salts are formed by a chemical reaction between:

Strong salt

Strong salts or strong electrolyte salts are chemical salts composed of strong electrolytes. These ionic compounds dissociate completely in water. They are generally odorless and nonvolatile.

Strong salts start with Na__, K__, NH4__, or they end with __NO3, __ClO4, or __CH3COO. Most group 1 and 2 metals form strong salts. Strong salts are especially useful when creating conductive compounds as their constituent ions allow for greater conductivity. [4]

Weak salt

Weak salts or "weak electrolyte salts" are, as the name suggests, composed of weak electrolytes. They are generally more volatile than strong salts. They may be similar in odor to the acid or base they are derived from. For example, sodium acetate, CH3COONa, smells similar to acetic acid CH3COOH.

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ionic bonding</span> Chemical bonding involving attraction between ions

Ionic bonding is a type of chemical bonding that involves the electrostatic attraction between oppositely charged ions, or between two atoms with sharply different electronegativities, and is the primary interaction occurring in ionic compounds. It is one of the main types of bonding along with covalent bonding and metallic bonding. Ions are atoms with an electrostatic charge. Atoms that gain electrons make negatively charged ions. Atoms that lose electrons make positively charged ions. This transfer of electrons is known as electrovalence in contrast to covalence. In the simplest case, the cation is a metal atom and the anion is a nonmetal atom, but these ions can be of a more complex nature, e.g. molecular ions like NH+
4
or SO2−
4
. In simpler words, an ionic bond results from the transfer of electrons from a metal to a non-metal in order to obtain a full valence shell for both atoms.

An electrolyte is a medium containing ions that is electrically conducting through the movement of those ions, but not conducting electrons. This includes most soluble salts, acids, and bases dissolved in a polar solvent, such as water. Upon dissolving, the substance separates into cations and anions, which disperse uniformly throughout the solvent. Solid-state electrolytes also exist. In medicine and sometimes in chemistry, the term electrolyte refers to the substance that is dissolved.

The chloride ion is the anion Cl. It is formed when the element chlorine gains an electron or when a compound such as hydrogen chloride is dissolved in water or other polar solvents. Chloride salts such as sodium chloride are often very soluble in water. It is an essential electrolyte located in all body fluids responsible for maintaining acid/base balance, transmitting nerve impulses and regulating liquid flow in and out of cells. Less frequently, the word chloride may also form part of the "common" name of chemical compounds in which one or more chlorine atoms are covalently bonded. For example, methyl chloride, with the standard name chloromethane is an organic compound with a covalent C−Cl bond in which the chlorine is not an anion.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ammonium</span> Polyatomic ion with formula NH4 and charge +1

The ammonium cation is a positively-charged polyatomic ion with the chemical formula NH+4 or [NH4]+. It is formed by the protonation of ammonia. Ammonium is also a general name for positively charged or protonated substituted amines and quaternary ammonium cations, where one or more hydrogen atoms are replaced by organic groups.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Aqueous solution</span> Solution in which the solvent is water

An aqueous solution is a solution in which the solvent is water. It is mostly shown in chemical equations by appending (aq) to the relevant chemical formula. For example, a solution of table salt, or sodium chloride (NaCl), in water would be represented as Na+(aq) + Cl(aq). The word aqueous means pertaining to, related to, similar to, or dissolved in, water. As water is an excellent solvent and is also naturally abundant, it is a ubiquitous solvent in chemistry. Since water is frequently used as the solvent in experiments, the word solution refers to an aqueous solution, unless the solvent is specified.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Base (chemistry)</span> Type of chemical substance

In chemistry, there are three definitions in common use of the word base, known as Arrhenius bases, Brønsted bases, and Lewis bases. All definitions agree that bases are substances that react with acids, as originally proposed by G.-F. Rouelle in the mid-18th century.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Acetate</span> Salt compound formed from acetic acid and a base

An acetate is a salt formed by the combination of acetic acid with a base. "Acetate" also describes the conjugate base or ion typically found in aqueous solution and written with the chemical formula C
2
H
3
O
2
. The neutral molecules formed by the combination of the acetate ion and a positive ion are also commonly called "acetates". The simplest of these is hydrogen acetate with corresponding salts, esters, and the polyatomic anion CH
3
CO
2
, or CH
3
COO
.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ionic compound</span> Chemical compound involving ionic bonding

In chemistry, an ionic compound is a chemical compound composed of ions held together by electrostatic forces termed ionic bonding. The compound is neutral overall, but consists of positively charged ions called cations and negatively charged ions called anions. These can be simple ions such as the sodium (Na+) and chloride (Cl) in sodium chloride, or polyatomic species such as the ammonium (NH+
4
) and carbonate (CO2−
3
) ions in ammonium carbonate. Individual ions within an ionic compound usually have multiple nearest neighbours, so are not considered to be part of molecules, but instead part of a continuous three-dimensional network. Ionic compounds usually form crystalline structures when solid.

The common-ion effect refers to the decrease in solubility of an ionic precipitate by the addition to the solution of a soluble compound with an ion in common with the precipitate. This behaviour is a consequence of Le Chatelier's principle for the equilibrium reaction of the ionic association/dissociation. The effect is commonly seen as an effect on the solubility of salts and other weak electrolytes. Adding an additional amount of one of the ions of the salt generally leads to increased precipitation of the salt, which reduces the concentration of both ions of the salt until the solubility equilibrium is reached. The effect is based on the fact that both the original salt and the other added chemical have one ion in common with each other.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sodium sulfate</span> Chemical compound with formula Na2SO4

Sodium sulfate (also known as sodium sulphate or sulfate of soda) is the inorganic compound with formula Na2SO4 as well as several related hydrates. All forms are white solids that are highly soluble in water. With an annual production of 6 million tonnes, the decahydrate is a major commodity chemical product. It is mainly used as a filler in the manufacture of powdered home laundry detergents and in the Kraft process of paper pulping for making highly alkaline sulfides.

Classical qualitative inorganic analysis is a method of analytical chemistry which seeks to find the elemental composition of inorganic compounds. It is mainly focused on detecting ions in an aqueous solution, therefore materials in other forms may need to be brought to this state before using standard methods. The solution is then treated with various reagents to test for reactions characteristic of certain ions, which may cause color change, precipitation and other visible changes.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Counterion</span> Ion which negates another oppositely-charged ion in an ionic molecule

In chemistry, a counterion is the ion that accompanies an ionic species in order to maintain electric neutrality. In table salt the sodium ion is the counterion for the chloride ion and vice versa.

A strong electrolyte is a solution/solute that completely, or almost completely, ionizes or dissociates in a solution. These ions are good conductors of electric current in the solution.

In chemical nomenclature, the IUPAC nomenclature of inorganic chemistry is a systematic method of naming inorganic chemical compounds, as recommended by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). It is published in Nomenclature of Inorganic Chemistry. Ideally, every inorganic compound should have a name from which an unambiguous formula can be determined. There is also an IUPAC nomenclature of organic chemistry.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hexafluorosilicic acid</span> Octahedric silicon compound

Hexafluorosilicic acid is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula H
2
SiF
6
. Aqueous solutions of hexafluorosilicic acid consist of salts of the cation and hexafluorosilicate anion. These salts and their aqueous solutions are colorless.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Double salt</span>

A double salt is a salt that contains two or more different cations or anions. Examples of double salts include alums (with the general formula MIMIII(SO4)2·12H2O) and Tutton's salts (with the general formula (MI)2MII(SO4)2·6H2O). Other examples include potassium sodium tartrate, ammonium iron(II) sulfate (Mohr's salt), potassium uranyl sulfate (used to discover radioactivity) and bromlite BaCa(CO3)2. The fluorocarbonates contain fluoride and carbonate anions. Many coordination complexes form double salts.

Alkali salts or basic salts are salts that are the product of incomplete neutralization of a strong base and a weak acid.

Sodium atoms have 11 electrons, one more than the stable configuration of the noble gas neon. As a result, sodium usually forms ionic compounds involving the Na+ cation. Sodium is a reactive alkali metal and is much more stable in ionic compounds. It can also form intermetallic compounds and organosodium compounds. Sodium compounds are often soluble in water.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hexafluorophosphate</span> Anion with the chemical formula PF6–

Hexafluorophosphate is an anion with chemical formula of [PF6]. It is an octahedral species that imparts no color to its salts. [PF6] is isoelectronic with sulfur hexafluoride, SF6, and the hexafluorosilicate dianion, [SiF6]2−, and hexafluoroantimonate [SbF6]. In this anion, phosphorus has a valence of 5. Being poorly nucleophilic, hexafluorophosphate is classified as a non-coordinating anion.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sodium tetraphenylborate</span> Chemical compound

Sodium tetraphenylborate is the organic compound with the formula NaB(C6H5)4. It is a salt, wherein the anion consists of four phenyl rings bonded to boron. This white crystalline solid is used to prepare other tetraphenylborate salts, which are often highly soluble in organic solvents. The compound is used in inorganic and organometallic chemistry as a precipitating agent for potassium, ammonium, rubidium, and cesium ions, and some organic nitrogen compounds.

References

  1. IUPAC , Compendium of Chemical Terminology , 2nd ed. (the "Gold Book") (1997). Online corrected version: (2006) " salt ". doi : 10.1351/goldbook.S05447
  2. Voet, D. & Voet, J. G. (2005). Biochemistry (3rd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons Inc. p. 68. ISBN   9780471193500. Archived from the original on 2007-09-11.
  3. D. Chasseau; G. Comberton; J. Gaultier; C. Hauw (1978). "Réexamen de la structure du complexe hexaméthylène-tétrathiafulvalène-tétracyanoquinodiméthane". Acta Crystallographica Section B. 34 (2): 689. doi: 10.1107/S0567740878003830 .
  4. "Acid and Base Strength". Home Bookshelves Physical & Theoretical Chemistry Supplemental Modules (Physical and Theoretical Chemistry) Acids and Bases Ionization Constants. MindTouch and Department of Education Open Textbook Pilot Project. 5 June 2019. Archived from the original on 2016-12-13. Retrieved 6 November 2019.