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Questions tagged [inorganic-chemistry]

Inorganic compounds generally do not have C-H bonds, while organic compounds do have such bonds. The distinction between inorganic and organic chemistry, however, is far from absolute.

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Do Na or Li need heat in order to react with Cl₂?

I've read how putting a burning piece of sodium in chlorine would produce white $\ce{NaCl}$ fumes. However, I can't find out whether Na or Li can react with $\ce{Cl2}$ without heating or burning.
avramov's user avatar
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Ceramics in "bullet proof" vests?

Kevlar is an aramid fiber that is used in ballistics protection vests. From the structure (structure shown from Wikipedia article), you can see why it would work to dissipate the energy from a bullet ...
Janice DelMar's user avatar
15 votes
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Activated Carbon - Desorption in sunlight?

I have some activated charcoal pads or small "pillows" that can be used to adsorb odors and chemical fumes from different materials. The instructions say to put them out in sunlight to reactivate ...
Casper's user avatar
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Why is a metabisulfite / starch / HCl solution unstable?

In one variation of the iodine clock demonstration, you add two colorless solutions together and apparently nothing happens. After about 30 seconds to a minute, you get an "instantaneous" change to a ...
Janice DelMar's user avatar
17 votes
1 answer
14k views

When we heat a borax crystal, why does it first expand and then contract?

In the borax bead test, we take a crystal of borax and then heat it. A small loop is made in the end of a platinum or nichrome wire (as used in the flame test) and heated in a Bunsen flame until ...
ManishEarth's user avatar
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How do copper sulphate and the like change crystal structure on adding water of hydration?

Copper sulphate, in its hydrated form, is crystalline, whereas the anhydrous form is amorphous. Gypsum has a similar story-- on heating the crystalline dihydrate we get an amorphous hemihydrate. (...
ManishEarth's user avatar
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41 votes
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Why is arsenous acid denoted H3AsO3?

Inspired by this question, I'm wondering why arsenous acid is frequently denoted $\ce{H3AsO3}$, as opposed to $\ce{As(OH)3}$, which would appear to more accurately reflect its connectivity? [edit] I ...
Richard Terrett's user avatar
16 votes
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What are the mechanisms for capture of As(III) and As(V) by magnetite from water?

Magnetite, $\ce{Fe3O4}$ is able to capture $\ce{As(III)}$ and $\ce{As(V)}$ from drinking water through the following mechanisms. Bidentate-binuclear complex Monodentate-binuclear complex (both from ...
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10 votes
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Why is fabrication of ordered graphite substrates difficult?

While reading this paper (suggested by @Janice here), I came across the following line: Surface reconstruction is known to be extremely important for Si, the material of 20th century electronics. ...
ManishEarth's user avatar
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47 votes
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Why does sulfur, but not oxygen, catenate?

Oxygen is a rather boring element. It has only two allotropes, dioxygen and ozone. Dioxygen has a double bond, and ozone has a delocalised cloud, giving rise to two "1.5 bonds". On the other hand, ...
ManishEarth's user avatar
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Edges of graphite

I've been asked this question a few times, and while I think I know the answer, I'd like to know more. Graphite, as we know, is a sheet polymer. Since polymers are bound to be finite by physical ...
ManishEarth's user avatar
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How to understand this form of writing the solution: (some salt • n H₂O)?

For example — "high purity chloride salt of Zinc $(\ce{ZnCl2.2H2O})$" or "various concentrations of $\ce{FeCl2.4H2O}$". What does the number before $\ce{H2O}$ mean?
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Reaction between silver nitrate and aluminum chloride

I googled a bit about what $\ce{AgNO3 + AlCl3}$ will yield and found out the following: $\ce{3AgNO3 + AlCl3 -> Al(NO3)3 + 3AgCl}$ Why is that? I know that $\ce{Ag}$ is higher up in the reactivity ...
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How to compute molecular formula?

I have the following question to solve: Tungsten, $\ce{W}$, and chlorine, $\ce{Cl}$, form a series of compounds with the following compositions: \begin{array}{rr} \text{Mass % W} & \text{...
mike's user avatar
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18 votes
2 answers
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Not your ordinary hard water deposit

We have a well that delivers hard water and we do not have a water softener. (There was a “green sand filter” that utilizes permanganate to oxidize other metals on the system, but it has been ...
Janice DelMar's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
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Where do I find datasheets of zeolites?

I'm looking into uses of zeolites as water absorbers for heat storage and absorbtion cooling. However, I don't find hard numbers on the likes of absorption enthalpies at different temperatures, ...
mart's user avatar
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26 votes
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Why do thiols have such a propensity for bonding with mercury?

Historically, thiols $\ce{-SH}$ were known as "mercapto-" due to their strong propensity to bond with mercury. Certain drugs still carry this designation, though mercaptopurine has an $\ce{=S}$ group ...
jonsca's user avatar
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13 votes
1 answer
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What is the geometric configuration of the four fluorine atoms during the synthesis of xenon tetrafluoride?

Neil Bartlett (1932–2008) first synthesized $\ce{XeF4}$ (and $\ce{XeF6}$) in 1962. In the synthesis, a nickel chamber is used, and heated to 400°C, causing the formation of $\ce{NiF4}$, which ...
jonsca's user avatar
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13 votes
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Is aqueous medium necessary for complex formation? if so, why?

If dry ammonia gas is passed through anhydrous copper sulfate, will it turn blue (due to the formation of tetraamminecopper(II) complex)? Or will silver chloride form diamminesilver(I) complex in ...
Megha's user avatar
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23 votes
3 answers
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Why is distillation not a viable way to separate ammonia from water?

Since the steam pressure of ammonia is higher than that of water, I would expect distillation to be a reasonable way of separating a mixture of both. However, in industrial applications known to me ...
mart's user avatar
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42 votes
1 answer
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Why is the vanadium(3+) ion paramagnetic?

I know that the electron configuration of vanadium is $[\ce{Ar}]\mathrm{4s^2 3d^3}$. None of the electrons in the 3d subshell are paired. Once it loses these three electrons, shouldn't the remainder ...
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30 votes
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Is activated carbon classified as organic or inorganic?

Organic compounds are typically defined as “molecules containing carbon”. Wikipedia states that there for some historical (read: non-logical) reasons, a few types of carbon-containing compounds ...
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