What does chlorine + potassium yield?

1 Answer
Aug 31, 2016

Answer:

Potassium chloride.

Explanation:

Potassium metal, #"K"#, will burn in the presence of chlorine gas, #"Cl"_2#, to form potassium chloride, #"KCl"#, an ionic compound.

The balanced chemical equation that describes this synthesis reaction looks like this

#2"K"_ ((s)) + "Cl"_ (2(g)) -> 2"KCl"_ ((s))#

Another way to picture this reaction is to think about it as being a redox reaction.

Here potassium metal is being oxidized by chlorine gas to potassium cations. In the process, chlorine gas is being reduced to chloride anions. The potassium actions and the chloride anions will then combine to produce potassium chloride.

#2stackrel(color(blue)(0))("K")_ ((aq)) + stackrel(color(blue)(0))("Cl")_ (2(g)) -> 2 stackrel(color(blue)(+1))("K") stackrel(color(blue)(-1))("Cl")_ ((s))#

Notice that the oxidation state of potassium goes from #color(blue)(0)# on the reactants' side to #color(blue)(+1)# on the products' side, hence why potassium is being oxidized.

On the other hand, the oxidation state of chlorine goes from #color(blue)(0)# on the reactants' side to #color(blue)(-1)# on the products' side, hence why chlorine is being reduced.