# Do chlorates decompose when heated?

Sep 17, 2015

Yes.

#### Explanation:

Chlorates are ionic compounds that contain the chlorate anion, ${\text{ClO}}_{3}^{-}$, and the cation of a metal.

When heated, these compounds undergo decomposition to form oxygen gas, ${\text{O}}_{2}$, and a metal chloride.

The classic example is the decomposition of potassium chlorate, ${\text{KClO}}_{3}$, to oxygen gas and potassium chloride, KCl".

${\text{KClO"_text(3(s]) -> "KCl"_text((s]) + "O}}_{\textrm{2 \left(g\right]}} \uparrow$

If you want a general form balanced equation for the decomposition of a metal chlorate, you can use $\text{M}$ to denote the metal cation

${\text{MClO"_text(3(s]) -> "MCl"_text((s]) + "O}}_{\textrm{2 \left(g\right]}} \uparrow$

Remember to balance this general equation according to the charge of the metal cation. For example, calcium chlorate, "Ca"("ClO"_3)_2, will decompose to give

${\text{Ca"("ClO"_3)_text(2(s]) -> "CaCl"""_text(2(s]) + 3"O}}_{\textrm{2 \left(g\right]}} \uparrow$

Here's a video showing the decomposition of potassium chlorate