The key difference between hypochlorous acid and hydrochloric acid is that hypochlorous acid is a weak acid while hydrochloric acid is a strong acid.
Both hypochlorous acid and hydrochloric acid are acidic substances with varying acidic strengths. Hypochlorous acid is an acidic substance having the chemical formula HClO, while hydrochloric acid is an aqueous solution of hydrogen chloride having the chemical formula HCl.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Hypochlorous Acid
3. What is Hydrochloric Acid
4. Hypochlorous Acid vs Hydrochloric Acid in Tabular Form
5. Summary – Hypochlorous Acid vs Hydrochloric Acid
What is Hypochlorous Acid?
Hypochlorous acid is an acidic substance having the chemical formula HClO. It is a weak acid and forms from the dissolution of chlorine in water where partial dissociation occurs to form hypochlorite (ClO-). The molar mass of hypochlorous acid is 52.46 g/mol. It is a water-soluble substance.
There are several different applications of hypochlorous acid, including organic synthesis applications where we need this acid as an intermediate, in the cosmetic industry as an ingredient, in the food industry, and water distribution processes as a disinfectant. This acidic substance also occurs naturally in our neutrophils where it is helpful in destroying bacteria.
When we add chlorine gas to water, it gives both hydrochloric acid and hypochlorous acid. If we add some acids to aqueous salts of hypochlorous acid, it causes the formation of chlorine gas by driving the equilibrium reaction between water, chlorine, hypochlorous acid, and hydrochloric acid to the left. Moreover, we can prepare this substance by dissolving dichlorine monoxide in water.
What is Hydrochloric Acid?
Hydrochloric acid is an aqueous solution of hydrogen chloride. It is a strong acid. Its chemical formula is HCl, and its molar mass is 36.5 g/mol. This acid has a pungent odour. Furthermore, it is important as a starting compound for many inorganic chemicals such as vinyl chloride.
We can consider hydrochloric acid as a strongly acidic substance because it can completely dissociate into its ions (hydrogen ion and chloride ion), and it occurs as a simple chlorine-containing acid system in an aqueous solution. Furthermore, this strong acid can attack our skin over a wide composition range and can cause skin burns.
Naturally, this acidic substance is present in the gastric acid in the digestive system of most animals, including humans. Moreover, it is commercially available as an industrial chemical for the production of polyvinyl chloride for plastic. In addition, HCl acid is useful as a descaling agent in household needs, as a food additive in the food industry, in leather processing, etc.
Hydrochloric acid occurs as the salt of the hydronium ion and chloride ion. We can prepare it by treating HCl with water. HCl acid is commonly used in chemical analysis for the preparation or digestion of samples for analysis. This is because concentrated HCl acid can dissolve many metals, and it can form oxidized metal chlorides with hydrogen gas.
What is the Difference Between Hypochlorous Acid and Hydrochloric Acid?
Hypochlorous acid and hydrochloric acid are acidic substances consisting of hydrogen and chlorine atoms; hypochlorous acid also contains oxygen atoms in addition to hydrogen and chlorine atoms. The key difference between hypochlorous acid and hydrochloric acid is that hypochlorous acid is a weak acid, while hydrochloric acid is a strong acid.
The below infographic lists the differences between hypochlorous acid and hydrochloric acid in tabular form for side by side comparison.
Summary – Hypochlorous Acid vs Hydrochloric Acid
Hypochlorous acid is an acidic substance having the chemical formula HClO. Hydrochloric acid is an aqueous solution of hydrogen chloride having the chemical formula HCl. The key difference between hypochlorous acid and hydrochloric acid is that hypochlorous acid is a weak acid whereas hydrochloric acid is a strong acid.
1. “HCl Acid (Hydrochloric Acid) – Structure, Molecular Mass, Properties & Uses.” BYJUS.
1. “Hypochlorous-acid-3D-vdW” (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Hydrochloric acid” By Hari vinayak santhosh – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
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