What are binary salts?

Binary salts

The binary salts are a type of ionic species which play a major role in the field of chemistry and are generally identified as a type of substance of strong electrolytes. When the term binary is used, reference is then made to the way in which they are created since they are composed of two different elements, a metallic cation with a simple non-metallic anion, which in turn are joined by means of an ionic bond .

Binary salts What are they, characteristics, properties, formation, example 

What are binary salts?

A binary salt is a combination that is made between a metal and a non-metal in its structure and that also have a general chemical formula such as m X n , where M will be the metallic element while X the non-metallic element.

  • Characteristics of binary salts
  • Properties
  • Formulation
  • How binary salts are formed
  • What are binary salts for?
  • Importance
  • Examples

Characteristics of binary salts

Among its main features are the following:

  • They bear some resemblance to kitchen salt .
  • They are also known as neutral salts .
  • They have a solid consistency , are very crystalline and are generally white in color .
  • It has a salty taste .
  • Much of the binary salts are soluble when they come into contact with water.
  • In binary salts, the non-metallic element will always act with its fixed valence against hydrogen.
  • It is one of the three types of salts that can be found in nature.
  • The nonmetal that is part of the binary salts will always use its lowest valence .
  • They are considered as a fundamental part of chemistry , mainly in the educational field .


Binary salts have several properties, one of them is their fragility to shocks as they tend to break you very easily, displacing the ions in their structure. They are also very hard when they are faced with high melting points since the electrical bonds that occur between negative and positive ions are strong, for this reason, in order to melt them they must be exposed to quite high temperatures.

Only when binary salts are dissolved do they have the ability to conduct electrical currents . One of its main properties is its great facility to dissolve in the presence of water since, a water molecule has polarity, in other words, negative and positive parts, when these are united with water, the positive parts of it are They manage to bind the anions while the negative parts to the cations, causing the ions of the salt to be removed and completely dissolved.


The formulation or nomenclature of binary salts is carried out in three different ways, which are:

  • Traditional : in this case, the name of the non-metal is placed first and then the ending “ uro ” is placed . Subsequently, the name of the metal that has been used ending in ” ico ” must also be placed . When the metal, in these cases, has two different valences , then the termination “bear” should be used for the one that is lower and the termination “ico” for the one that is greater.
  • Systematic : the systematic formulation must begin by placing the name of the non-metal and the ending ” uro “. Two prefixes must also be added, which will have the function of being able to indicate the number of atoms that the metal and the non-metal have that participate in the formula.
  • Stock : this type of nomenclature is the most used to name binary salts. It is used in a very similar way to the traditional one and begins by writing the name of the non-metal with its ending in “ uro ” to later place the preposition “ of ” and finally, the name of the metal will be placed while indicating its valence . It is important to mention that the valence must always be written in Roman numerals and must also go between parentheses .

How binary salts are formed

Binary salts can be formed by means of a combination made between an ionic bond that belongs to a certain metallic element and a non-metallic one , with the exception of hydrogen and oxygen atoms. Its formation also involves an exothermic type of heat reaction.

What are binary salts for?

The uses that can be given to binary salts are different and these will depend on the elements that are part of the compound. One of its main uses is in maintaining the water balance of organisms such as plants and animals, they are also used within the field of industry and the manufacture of food products . Some are used to cook, preserve food, and even melt ice . They are also used to make fireworks and to harden steel.


Binary salts are of great importance since they are the basis of many types of compounds , serums, medicines and even for human consumption. It is an ideal and necessary for the manufacture of complement Sera , food and products canned .


Some known examples of binary salts are as follows:

  • Sodium Chloride – This is one of the best known binary salts due to its common uses for people. It is used in food, plastics manufacturing, concrete products and others.
  • Ferric chloride : it is widely used for the treatment of drinking and waste water, it is also very efficient to remove heavy metals and is used as a catalyst, oxidant and disinfectant agent.
  • Cobalt sulfide : this type of binary salt is used in the creation of pigments and in the manufacture of cobalt salts . It is also used in storage piles, inks, and as a type of additive to treat soils and animal feed. It must be used under supervision as it can be harmful to health.
  • Other examples : barium chloride, cobalt sulfide, calcium bromide.

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