Sodium chlorite

Sodium chlorite
Sodium chlorite
CAS number 7758-19-2 YesY
PubChem 24452
ChemSpider 22860 YesY
UN number 1496
KEGG C19523 N
RTECS number VZ4800000
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Molecular formula NaClO2
Molar mass 90.44 g/mol
Appearance white solid
Density 2.5 g/cm3, solid
Melting point

180–200 °C decomp.

Solubility in water 39 g/100 ml (17 °C)
EU Index Not listed
NFPA 704
NFPA 704.svg
Flash point Non-flammable
Related compounds
Other anions Sodium chloride
Sodium hypochlorite
Sodium chlorate
Sodium perchlorate
Other cations Potassium chlorite
Barium chlorite
Related compounds Chlorine dioxide
Chlorous acid
 N (verify) (what is: YesY/N?)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox references

Sodium chlorite (NaClO2) is a chemical compound used in the manufacture of paper.



The main application of sodium chlorite is the generation of chlorine dioxide for bleaching and stripping of textiles, pulp, and paper. It is also used for disinfection of a few municipal water treatment plants after conversion to chlorine dioxide.[1] An advantage in this application, as compared to the more commonly used chlorine, is that trihalomethanes (such as chloroform) are not produced from organic contaminants.[citation needed] . Chlorine dioxide generated from sodium chlorite is approved by FDA under some conditions for disinfecting water used to wash fruits, vegetables, and poultry. [2]

Sodium chlorite, NaClO2, sometimes in combination with zinc chloride, also finds application as a component in therapeutic rinses, mouthwashes,[3][4] toothpastes and gels, mouth sprays,[5] as a teat dip for control of mastitis in dairy cattle,[6] as preservative in eye drops,[7] and in contact lens cleaning solution under the trade name Purite. Under the brand name Oxine it is used for sanitizing air ducts and HVAC/R systems and animal containment areas (walls, floors, and other surfaces).

Chemical reagent

In organic synthesis, sodium chlorite is frequently used as a reagent in the Pinnick oxidation for the oxidation of aldehydes to carboxylic acids. The reaction is usually performed in monosodium phosphate buffered solution in the presence of a chlorine scavenger (usually 2-methyl-2-butene).[8]

Recently, sodium chlorite has been used as an oxidizing agent to convert alkyl furans to the corresponding 4-oxo-2-alkenoic acids in a simple one pot synthesis.[9]


Sodium chlorite, like many oxidizing agents, should be protected from inadvertent contamination by organic materials to avoid the formation of an explosive mixture. The chemical explodes on percussive impact[10], and will ignite if combined with a strong antioxidant (reducing agent).


Sodium chlorite is a strong oxidant and can therefore be expected to cause clinical symptoms similar to the well known sodium chlorate: methemoglobinemia, hemolysis, renal failure.[11] A dose of 10-15 grams of sodium chlorate can be lethal.[12] Methemoglobemia had been demonstrated in rats and cats [13] and recent studies by the EMEA have confirmed that the clinical symptomatology is very similar to the one caused by sodium chlorate in the rat, mouse, rabbit, and the green monkey. [14]

There is only one human case in the medical literature of chlorite poisoning.[15] It seems to confirm that the toxicity is equal to sodium chlorate. From the analogy with sodium chlorate, even small amounts of about 1 gram can be expected to cause nausea, vomiting and even life-threatening hemolysis in Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase deficient persons.


The free acid, chlorous acid, HClO2, is only stable at low concentrations. Since it cannot be concentrated, it is not a commercial product. However, the corresponding sodium salt, sodium chlorite, NaClO2 is stable and inexpensive enough to be commercially available. The corresponding salts of heavy metals (Ag+, Hg+, Tl+, Pb2+, and also Cu2+ and NH4+) decompose explosively with heat or shock.

Sodium chlorite is derived indirectly from sodium chlorate, NaClO3. First, the explosive (only at concentrations greater than 10% in atmosphere) chlorine dioxide, ClO2 is produced by reducing sodium chlorate in a strong acid solution with a suitable reducing agent (for example, sodium sulfite, sulfur dioxide, or hydrochloric acid). The chlorine dioxide is then absorbed into an alkaline solution and reduced with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), yielding sodium chlorite.


In the United States sodium chlorite is available in industrial quantities from DuPont.[16]

General references

  • "Chemistry of the Elements", N.N. Greenwood and A. Earnshaw, Pergamon Press, 1984.
  • "Kirk-Othmer Concise Encyclopedia of Chemistry", Martin Grayson, Editor, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1985


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ "New mouthwashes may help take bad breath away" article by Joyce Cohen in USA Today
  4. ^ SmartMouth 2 Step Mouth Rinse
  5. ^ Products entry Skin Deep cosmetic safety database
  6. ^ "Preventing Bovine Mastitis by a Postmilking Teat Disinfectant Containing Acidified Sodium Chlorite" J. Dairy Sci. 90:1201–1208
  7. ^ Blink Tears
  8. ^ Bal BS, Childers, Jr. WE, Pinnick HW (1981). "Oxidation of α,β-unsaturated aldehydes" (abstract). Tetrahedron 37: 2091. doi:10.1016/S0040-4020(01)97963-3. 
  9. ^ Annangudi SP, Sun M, Salomon RG (2005). "An efficient synthesis of 4-oxo-2-alkenoic acids from 2-alkyl furans" (abstract). Synlett 9: 1468. doi:10.1055/s-2005-869833. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ Goldfrank's Toxicologic Emergencies, McGraw-Hill Professional; 8th edition (March 28, 2006), ISBN 978-0071437639
  12. ^
  13. ^ Clinical Toxicology of Commercial Products. Robert E. Gosselin, Roger P. Smith, Harold C. Hodge, Jeannet Braddock. Uitgever: Williams & Wilkins; 5 edition (September 1984) ISBN 978-0683036329
  14. ^ Sodium Chlorite - Summary Report of the Europena Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products - Veterinary Medicines Evaluation Unit [3]
  15. ^ Acute sodium chlorite poisoning associated with renal failure. Lin JL, Lim PS. Ren Fail. 1993;15(5):645-8. PMID: 8290712
  16. ^ Chlorine Dioxide and Sodium Chlorite Supply

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • sodium chlorite — noun : a crystalline salt NaClO2 usually made by reaction of sodium hydroxide with chlorine dioxide from the reduction of a chlorate and used chiefly as a bleaching and oxidizing agent …   Useful english dictionary

  • Chlorite de sodium —     …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sodium hypochlorite — Sodium hypochlorite …   Wikipedia

  • Sodium chlorate — Sodium chlorate …   Wikipedia

  • Sodium perchlorate — Sodium perchlorate …   Wikipedia

  • Chlorite — For the mineral type, see chlorite group. For the neutral chemical compound, see chlorine dioxide. The chlorite ion The chlorite ion is ClO2−. A chlorite (compound) is a compound that contains this group, with chlorine in oxidation state +3.… …   Wikipedia

  • Chlorite — Chlo rite, n. [Chlorous + ite.] (Chem.) Any salt of chlorous acid; as, chlorite of sodium. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • chlorite — I. noun Etymology: German Chlorit, from Latin chloritis, a green stone, from Greek chlōritis, from chlōros Date: 1794 any of a group of usually green silicate minerals associated with and resembling the micas • chloritic adjective II. noun… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Chlorine dioxide — ClO2 redirects here. For the oxoanion with the formula ClO− 2, see chlorite. For the oxycation with the formula ClO2+, see Chloryl. Chlorine dioxide …   Wikipedia

  • Clorito de sodio — Esta página o sección está siendo traducida del idioma inglés a partir del artículo Sodium chlorite, razón por la cual puede haber lagunas de contenidos, errores sintácticos o escritos sin traducir. Puedes colaborar con Wikipedia con …   Wikipedia Español

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