The key difference between lead chloride and silver chloride is that lead chloride is sparingly soluble in cold water but soluble in hot water, whereas silver chloride is insoluble in water.
Lead chloride and silver chloride are inorganic compounds which are well-known for their insolubility in water. Mercuric chloride is the other solid compound that falls under the same category. However, only lead chloride among these three compounds is soluble in hot water.
What is Lead Chloride
Lead chloride or lead(II) chloride is an inorganic compound that appears as a white solid under ambient conditions. This compound is poorly water-soluble but it dissolves in hot water. It is an important lead-based reagent. We can find this compound occurring naturally in the form of the mineral cotunnite.
The solid form of lead chloride has each lead ion coordinated by nine chloride ions in the form of tricapped triangular prism formation. Gas-phase lead chloride molecules have a bent geometry. This compound occurs naturally and can have a white, colourless, yellow, or green colour.
There are different methods of synthesis of lead chloride, such as double displacement method, direct reduction, and direct chlorination. In the double displacement method, lead(II) chloride precipitates when aqueous chloride sources are added to lead(II) compounds such as lead(II) nitrate.
When considering the uses of lead chloride compound, the molten lead chloride is useful in the synthesis of lead nitrate and barium lead titanate ceramics via cation replacement reactions, useful in the production of infrared transmitting glass, useful in HCl service, etc.
What is Silver Chloride?
Silver chloride is AgCl. It is an inorganic compound which appears as a white crystalline solid. This compound is well-known for its insolubility in water. However, this solid is soluble in ammonia, concentrated HCl, concentrated H2SO4, alkali cyanide, etc.
When considering the preparation of silver chloride, we can easily synthesize this compound by combining aqueous solutions of silver nitrate and sodium chloride. Also, we can produce it via the reaction between cobalt(II) chloride and silver nitrate.
There are different important uses of silver chloride including the use of silver chloride electrode in electrochemistry, useful in pottery glazes for the production of inglaze lustre, as an antidote for mercury poisoning, to make photographic paper, useful in photochromic lenses, in bandages and wound healing products, as an antimicrobial agent, etc.
What is the Difference Between Lead Chloride and Silver Chloride?
Lead chloride, silver chloride and mercuric chloride are highly insoluble in water. The key difference between lead chloride and silver chloride is that the lead chloride is sparingly soluble in cold water but soluble in hot water, whereas the silver chloride is insoluble even in hot water. Moreover, lead chloride or lead(II) chloride is PbCl2 while silver chloride is AgCl.
The following infographic summarizes the differences between lead chloride and silver chloride in tabular form.
Summary – Lead Chloride vs Silver Chloride
In brief, the lead chloride and silver chloride are inorganic compounds. However, the key difference between lead chloride and silver chloride is that the lead chloride is sparingly soluble in cold water but soluble in hot water, whereas the silver chloride is insoluble in water. Moreover, silver chloride can react with ammonia solution because it dissolves forming a soluble complex with ammonia, while lead chloride is insoluble in ammonia solution. Therefore, we can easily use qualitative methods to distinguish between lead chloride and silver chloride.
1. “Lead chloride.” Pubchem. Available here.