I was wondering, can I separate the $\ce{NaClO}$ from the $\ce{H2O}$ in bleach. The decomposition point for $\ce{NaClO}$ is $374.14\ \mathrm{K}$, so I'm risking decomposing the compound if I do simple distillation.

What should I do?

PS: I don't have a vacuum pump.


Sodium hypochlorite, $\ce{NaClO}$, is unstable and can't be separated from the water in which you usually find it without it decomposing.

That's the short answer. To learn more about it check Wikipedia for sodium hypochlorite.

  • $\begingroup$ I checked Wiki. It says it is hygroscopic, but not necessarily unstable. $\endgroup$ – Fiire Oct 8 '12 at 2:52
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    $\begingroup$ Well, you can't buy it (from e.g., Sigma-Aldrich) in solid form, but only in solution. That says something about intrinsic stability… $\endgroup$ – F'x Oct 8 '12 at 8:52

Sodium hypochlorite is unstable in substance, but calcium hypochlorite, $\ce{Ca(ClO)_2}$, isn't, any chemical supply store won't hesitate to sell it.

There's other chlorine equivalents: chloroamine T, trichlorocyanuric acid, chlorosuccinimide are but a few.


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