Chemistry

Difference Between Chlorine and Chloride

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Main Difference

The main difference between chlorine and chloride is that chlorine is known as the chemical element, whereas chloride is known as the negatively charged ion.

Chlorine vs. Chloride

Chlorine is known as the chemical element, which consists of an atomic number 17, whereas chloride is known as an anion, which is derived from a chlorine atom. Chlorine contains 17 electrons in its outermost shell; on the other hand, chloride consists of 18 electrons in the outermost shell.

[Ne]3s23p5 is the electronic configuration of the chlorine atom; on the contrary, chloride has a similar electronic configuration to that of an argon atom. The color of chlorine gas is yellowish-green in appearance; on the flip side, the appearance of chloride is colorless in aqueous solution.

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The highly electronegative element is chlorine; on the other hand, chloride is considered as less or not at all electronegative. Chlorine is highly reactive, diatomic gas, and has a suffocating odor; on the contrary, chloride is the negatively charged ionic form of the chlorine atom and found abundantly in nature.

Chlorine results in the laboratory are always reported as free chlorine; conversely, all chloride results in the laboratory are always reported as chloride. Chlorine usually reacts with other organic matters to form compounds that are highly toxic known as chlorinated hydrocarbons; on the contrary, chloride usually does not react to other organic matters to form toxic compounds.

Chlorine is generally added to water to kill the microorganisms; on the other hand, chloride is known as the natural compound present in the water. Chlorine is used in cleaning products to sterilize and clean swimming pools and clothes, while chloride is a mineral that is readily and mostly needed by the human body.

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Chlorine is considered as a gas, whereas chloride is considered as the mineral supplement. In elemental form, the chlorine cannot be found freely in the environment; on the flip side, chloride can always be found in the form of table salts.

Comparison Chart

ChlorineChloride
Chlorine is known as the nonmetallic element, which generally belongs to the halogens and has a yellowish irritating toxic gas.Chloride is known as any salt of hydrochloric acid, which must contain chloride ion and generally containing the chlorine atom.
General Definition
Known as the chemical element which consists of an atomic number 17Known as anion which is derived from a chlorine atom
Number of Electrons
17 electrons18 electrons
Electronic Configuration
[Ne]3s23p5Has similar electronic configuration to that of an Argon atom
Color
Yellowish-green in appearanceColorless in aqueous solution
Electronegativity
Highly electronegative elementHas less or not at all
Properties
Highly reactive, diatomic gas and have a suffocating odorNegatively charged an ionic form of the chlorine atom and found abundantly in nature
Results in the Laboratory
Always reported as free chlorineAlways reported as chloride
Reaction with Organic Matter
Usually reacts with other organic matters to form compounds which are highly toxic known as chlorinated hydrocarbonsDoes not react to other organic matters to form toxic compounds
Importance in the Water
Generally added to water to kill the microorganismsKnown as the natural compound present in the water
General Importance
Used in cleaning products to sterilize and clean swimming pools and clothesA mineral that is readily and mostly needed by the human body
Considered As
Considered as a gasConsidered as the mineral supplement
Elemental Form
Cannot be found freely in the environmentCan always be found in the form of table salts

What is Chlorine?

Chlorine is known for the chemical element that consists of atomic number 17. Chlorine is present in the 17th group of the periodic element, which means it is present in Halogens.

The p block elements contain chlorine. Chlorine is characterized as a nonmetal. Hence, chlorine is known for halogens. [Ne]3s23p5 is the electronic configuration of the chlorine atom. Chlorine lacks one electron to fill the orbitals. Therefore, they are very reactive towards other species and generally react with many other types of ions or atoms to make them stabilized.

Chlorine is present as a yellowish-green gaseous compound at room temperature and pressure. The chemical formula of this gas is Cl2. Its smell is very bracing.

Chlorine also consists of isotopes, as same in other chemical elements. Chlorine-35 and Chlorine-37 are the most common isotopes of chlorine. However, among these two isotopes, Chlorine-35 is known as the most abundant isotope.

Chlorine can have a stable electronic configuration by having one electron from the other element or an atom. -1 is considered as the most stable oxidation state of chlorine.

The atoms of chlorine are generally involved in the production of many chemical compounds, and these compounds are known as acidic compounds. The chlorine hydrides are known as hydrogen chloride. In the laboratories, the hydrogen chloride is the most commonly used type of acid in there. Chlorides can also be produced when chlorine reacts with many other metal elements.

Chlorine has its wide applications in disinfecting or in sterilization. It kills microorganisms and bacteria. Chlorine is also used to produce a common plastic material known as PVC. Though, apart from its benefits, chlorine is a very toxic gas.

What is Chloride?

Chloride is generally derived from a chlorine atom, and it is an anion as chlorine atom contains 17 electrons in the outermost shell. So to fill the empty orbital, the chlorine reacts readily and forms the chloride ions by containing electrons from the outside, which occupies the outermost orbital. But in chlorine, there are not present enough positive charges to neutralize the negative charge of that coming electron, so it forms an anion known as a chloride ion.

Eighteen electrons are present in chloride ion. The electronic configuration of chloride is similar to that of Argon atom. The electronegativity of chloride is very less, and it is also very less reactive.

The compounds present in chloride ion are known as chlorides. Many chlorides are water-soluble because when these compounds get dissolved in water, its anions and cations get separated from each other, and as these ions are electrically charged, so solution containing these chlorides can conduct an electric current through the solution.

Key Differences

  1. Chlorine has the symbol Cl, and it is a naturally occurring element with atomic number 17, while chloride is an ion derived from the chlorine.
  2. Chlorine is considered a strong oxidizing agent, and it consists of the highest electron affinity and the third highest electronegativity in comparison to all other elements, whereas chloride is a very less active element, and it also has very less electronegativity.
  3. The electronic configuration of chlorine is [Ne]3s23p5; on the other hand, the electronic configuration of chloride is the same as that of the Argon atom.
  4. Chlorine in the gaseous state is present in the form of a diatomic molecule (Cl2); on the flip side, chloride is the negatively charged anion.
  5. Chlorine is widely used for sterilizing and for killing the microorganisms; on the other hand, chloride is needed and used by the human body.

Conclusion

The above discussion concludes that chlorine is used to name the chemical element, and it is known as the chlorine gas, whereas chloride is used to name the chloride ion and also for the chloride ions as the anion. Chlorine is the chemical element, while chloride is the negatively charged ion.

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Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss