Silver chloride - AgCl

What is Silver chloride?

Silver chloride is a white crystalline chemical compound with the formula AgCl. Silver chloride in the test tube quickly turns purplish, especially in a sunny laboratory because the silver chloride is split up into silver and chlorine. Silver chloride is prepared when sodium chloride is added to silver nitrate solution a white precipitate of silver chloride occurs. Silver chloride is an example of a well-known salt stain used to impart an amber colour to the glass.

Other name – chloro silver

AgCl Silver chloride
Density 5.56 g/cm³
Molecular weight/ Molar mass 143.32 g/mol
Boiling point 1,547 °C
Melting point 455 °C
Chemical formula AgCl

Table of Contents

Silver chloride Structure

Silver chloride AgCl 1

Physical Properties of Silver chloride – AgCl

Odour No odour
Appearance White powder
Complexity 2
Vapour pressure 670/1Pa
Covalently-bonded Unit 1
Solubility Insoluble in water

Chemical Properties of Silver chloride – AgCl

  • Silver chloride undergos decomposition reaction in the presence of sunlight to form silver and chlorine. The chemical reaction is as follows.

2AgCl → 2Ag + Cl2

  • Silver chloride reacts with bases like ammonia forming a complex compound called Silver diammonium ion and chloride ion.

AgCl + 2NH3 → [Ag(NH3)2]+ + Cl

Uses of Silver chloride – AgCl

  • The most effective form of water-activated battery uses magnesium as the anode and silver chloride as the positive electrode.
  • Used in electroplating and polishing mirrors and in making alloys.
  • Used as an antidote that reacts with the poison to produce a harmless chemical compound.
  • Used in medicines and silver salts are used in photographic films.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs


What are the uses of silver chloride?

AgCl has several disinfectant and antiseptic properties and is also used in the treatment of mercury poisoning. This compound finds use in antimicrobials, wound healing materials, personal deodorants, water treatment, and antidotes. Silver chloride at low concentrations is not harmful and is used in medical and disinfectant applications.

How can silver chloride be synthesised?

The combination of aqueous solutions of silver nitrate and sodium chloride is an easy method of synthesising silver chloride. It can also be formed by reacting cobalt(II) chloride with silver nitrate. This precipitation is general for the reaction of silver nitrate to soluble chloride salts and is not unique to cobalt alone.

What are the health hazards of silver chloride?

If ingested, this compound can cause digestive tract discomfort. Soluble silver salts ingestion can induce argyria, characterised by permanent blue-grey skin pigmentation, mucous membranes, and eyes. Ingestion of silver compounds can lead to abdominal pain, stiffness, seizures and shock.
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