Inorganic chemistry

Examples of salts in chemistry with definition, properties, classification, and uses

What are salts?

Salts are chemical compounds resulting from an ionic bond between positively charged chemical particles (cations) and others with a negative charge (anions). They are the typical result of the chemical reaction between an acid and a base , also known as neutralization. examples of salts in chemistry

There are different types of salts, differentiated in their chemical composition and their usefulness for human industries, as well as in their nomenclature. Perhaps the best known of all is sodium chloride (NaCl), which is the common salt or table salt, used in the kitchen. examples of salts in chemistry

Properties of salts examples of salts in chemistry

The properties of salts can be very varied , depending on their composition. examples of salts in chemistry

In general, they are crystalline compounds , with an ionic structure.

Their structure gives them high melting points and dielectric properties in solid state . examples of salts in chemistry

However they are soluble in water.

They usually have different colors (from the white of common salt to red, black, blue and mauve, depending on their components). Its flavors range from salty, sweet, sour and bitter. They give off little or no odor. examples of salts in chemistry

Classification of salts by composition

Classes can be classified according to the proportion of ions that compose them, or of acids and bases:

  • Basic or hydroxysal salts. Composed of two anions and a cation. examples of salts in chemistry
  • Acidic or sodium salts. They are made up of two cations and one anion.
  • Neutral salts. Product of the total neutralization of an acid and a base, they lack H + and OH- ions due to their neutral character.
  • Mixed salts. Composed of two cations or two different anions, which have ions different from H + and OH-.
  • Hydrated salts. Salts in whose crystalline composition water molecules appear . examples of salts in chemistry

Classification of salts by elements

Another way of classifying salts is based on the number of elements present in their formula, as follows:

  • Binary salts. They have two elements: a metal and a non-metal . Example: NaCl. examples of salts in chemistry
  • Ternary salts. They have three elements: a metal, a nonmetal, and oxygen . Example: PbSeO 3 .
  • Quaternary salts. They present four different elements, between metals and non-metals. Example: NaHCO 3 .

How are salts formed?

Salts formed when, in an acid, the atoms of hydrogen are replaced by metal atoms or other ionic reagents from a base or alkali. This generally occurs in the process known as neutralization. examples of salts in chemistry

Its formula which is:

acid + base = salt + water

There the base provides a cation and the acid the anion, to form the salt. For instance: examples of salts in chemistry

HCl + NaOH = NaCl + H 2 O

Another case of salt formation, although less frequent, is the result of the following reactions:

  • Acid + Metal. As in H 2 SO 4 + Zn = ZnSO 4 + H 2
  • Base + Base. As in Na 2 SO 4 + BaCl 2 = BaSO 4 + 2NaCl
  • Acid + Oxide. As in 2HBr + 2NaO = 2NaBr + H 2 O

Nomenclature of salts

The salts are named as follows:

  • Hydracid salts (acids that do not contain oxygen in their molecule). The ending – hydric is replaced by the ending – uro . For example, if the salt comes from the hydrochloric acid , chlor be called uro . examples of salts in chemistry
  • Oxacid salts. The ending – bear or – ico is replaced by the ending – ito or – ato . For example, if the salt derived from phosphoric acid, phosphoric be called ato .
  • Acid salts (with replaceable hydrogen atoms). They are called indicating the number of unsubstituted hydrogens in the molecule, using the corresponding prefix. For example, the NaHS salt is called sodium hydrogen sulfide, since the HS- anion comes from hydrogen sulfide.
  • Basic salts (with hydroxyl or OH- molecules). They are named indicating the number of hydroxyl followed by the central anion and finally the cation. For example, MgCl (OH) is called magnesium hydroxychloride.
  • Hydrated salts. They are named indicating the corresponding salt and then the number of hydration molecules. For example: MgSO 4 x 5H 2 O is called Magnesium Sulfate Pentahydrate.

Where are the salts found?

The salts can be found as part of underground and rocky minerals , such as halite, or also dissolved in water, such as in the oceans and seas . These are abundant and necessary compounds for organic life as we know it, so they are not difficult to acquire through food . examples of salts in chemistry

Biological importance of salts

Salts are part of many organic compounds . In addition, they occupy a central place in biological processes such as:

  • Muscle contraction
  • Transmission of nerve impulses
  • Chlorophyll synthesis
  • Oxygen transport in hemoglobin
  • Functioning of enzymes
  • Generation of insoluble solid structures such as bones, shells, etc. examples of salts in chemistry

What are salts used for? examples of salts in chemistry

Salts have different uses in human industries. In gastronomy they are used as ingredients such as common salt or sodium bicarbonate. In the pharmaceutical industry they are used as laxatives and the basis of medical supplies.

But its industrial use is widespread. For example, they are the basis of extinguishing fire and different materials of construction . They can also be desiccants and as fertilizers. Some more specific salts are used to make explosives or for the photographic industry. examples of salts in chemistry

Mineral salts examples of salts in chemistry

These are ionic compounds, of entirely inorganic origin (hence the name “mineral”). However, they can also be found in the body of living beings , which must consume them through food , since with them various functions of regulation, metabolism and nervous excitability are carried out.

They are particularly abundant on our planet , forming part of subsoil minerals or dissolved in marine waters. In principle, they are not distinguishable from organic salts, except for the type of elements present in their molecular constitution.

Examples of salts in chemistry

Some commonly used salts are the following:

  • Sodium Nitrate (NaNO 3 ). Used for the treatment of botulism (a disease caused by neurotoxins of bacterial origin).
  • Sodium Nitrite (NaNO 2 ). Used in the food industry as a preservative and also as a color fixer.
  • Lithium bicarbonate (LiHCO 3 ). Used as a CO 2 capturing agent in space missions.
  • Sodium hydrogen sulfide (NaHS). Dangerous salt and of delicate handling, highly corrosive, combustible and toxic.
  • Dicalcium phosphate (CaHPO 4 ). Known as calcium monohydrogen phosphate, they are used as an additive in food and toothpaste. examples of salts in chemistry

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