Topic: Chlorine, Chloride & Chloro? What's the difference?

Chlorine, Chloride & Chloro? What's the difference?

When people say that something contains chlorine what do they really mean? Chlorine is a very aggressively reactive heavy greenish yellow gas. The only places you actually find chlorine are in gas cylinders labeled "chlorine". All chlorine in nature is tied up as some other form. Let me explain what I mean by that. Table salt as you probably know is sodium chloride. It's considerably more than half by weight made of chlorine atoms. But are these atoms chlorine? No. The aggressive yellow gas is now locked up chemically and has formed a colorless crystalline solid. It's not really chlorine anymore. It is chloride. It has accepted one electron from sodium and in doing so become a very different entity. So, even though table salt can be made from chlorine gas it does not contain chlorine per se.

And what about chloro? Chloro is a term which refers to a chlorine atom which has bonded to another atom that is less dissimilar to itself than was something like sodium. An example of this would be carbon. When a chlorine atom bonds to a carbon atom you get a chlorocarbon. A chlorocarbon does not contain chlorine anymore then the salt in the last example did. In bonding to the carbon atom the fundamental nature of the chlorine atom is changed.

The bottom line.... when someone says that something contains chlorine.... just think to yourself," I know that many things do. But I also know that it's not that cut and dried."

Last edited by Professional Chemist (02-19-2009 3:53 pm)

Re: Chlorine, Chloride & Chloro? What's the difference?

I don't drink chlorine, but I do eat natural chlorides such as potassium chloride, magnesium chloride, sodium chloride, and the chloride compounds found in foods. There is a difference in the way the body uses it and its toxic levels.

I avoid ingesting ALL chlorine that is NOT compounded by nature. I avoid the chlorine in Splenda because when I get into Splenda accidentally (which is easy to do these days), I feel pain in my kidneys within a few hours.