Two tests to determine the presence of alkyl chlorides are the silver nitrate in 1% ethanol and sodium iodide in 15% acetone tests. These two tests both produce a precipitate when added to chloride ions (AgCl and NaCl respectively).

NaI in acetone must often be heated to 50ºC for several minutes to produce a visible precipitate. In contrast, $ \ce{AgNO3} $ typically does not require heat and immediately produces a visible precipitate.

Why is the silver reaction so much more favorable than that of sodium?


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