Do chlorates decompose when heated?

1 Answer
Sep 17, 2015

Answer:

Yes.

Explanation:

Chlorates are ionic compounds that contain the chlorate anion, #"ClO"_3^(-)#, and the cation of a metal.

When heated, these compounds undergo decomposition to form oxygen gas, #"O"_2#, and a metal chloride.

The classic example is the decomposition of potassium chlorate, #"KClO"_3#, to oxygen gas and potassium chloride, #KCl"#.

#"KClO"_text(3(s]) -> "KCl"_text((s]) + "O"_text(2(g]) uarr#

If you want a general form balanced equation for the decomposition of a metal chlorate, you can use #"M"# to denote the metal cation

#"MClO"_text(3(s]) -> "MCl"_text((s]) + "O"_text(2(g]) uarr#

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

#"Ca"("ClO"_3)_text(2(s]) -> "CaCl"""_text(2(s]) + 3"O"_text(2(g]) uarr#

Here's a video showing the decomposition of potassium chlorate