What would the product of ammonium nitrate and hypochlorous acid? Would there be any reaction? Would the HOCl get broken down? Trying to determine if the free chlorine content would be diminished upon mixing in an aqueous solution.


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Do not for goodness sake mix chlorine bleach with ammonium compounds or ammonia, it has a good chance of ending badly.

I am not sure of the curved arrow mechanism, but what I suspect will happen is that the ammonia will attack the HO-Cl using the OH- as a leaving group. So by making the system less basic it will favour the reaction.

This will convert ammonia into NH2Cl, which will then be converted into NHCl2 and finally into nitrogen trichloride (NCl3). When I was a PhD student one of the other people has to make NCl3, he did it with great care. He did the reaction in such a way that the NCl3 was diluted in an inert solvent.

The scary thing about nitrogen trichloride is that it is a very unstable and shock sensitive explosive. One of my uncles is a chemist like me, he once witnessed an accident in which a man lost several fingers playing around with nitrogen iodide.

But back to nitrogen trichloride, as well as being explosive it is also a harmful and irritating substance. I would suggest you have nothing to do with it !


To add to the "don't do it" chorus, there was an industrial accident where hypochlorite solution was added to acidified urea*. The resulting explosion killed one person and injured several others, probably through reaction of hypochlorite and ammonia to form nitrogen trichloride.

*-The Chemaxx site (link above) has descriptions of many chemistry-related industrial accidents.


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