How to Determine the Boiling Point of Sodium Chloride

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The boiling point of sodium chloride is very high, about one thousand degrees Celsius. It is used in industrial applications, like fire extinguishing. However, it is not acid, so there is no odour and it has a salty taste.

To determine the boiling point of a substance, it is necessary to take an aqueous solution of the substance and heat it until the bubbles begin to form. This is done by using a thermometer. Once the temperature rises to a certain level, the bubbles slowly start to rise out of the capillary tube. After this, the temperature is calculated by taking the average of two readings.

Another method is to use a gas burner or spirit lamp to heat the water. Once it reaches a certain temperature, the particles of the solute in the water are broken apart into positive and negative ions. These ions attract one another, forming metal chlorides. In turn, the sodium and chlorine ions in the water change the hydrogen bonding between the water molecules.

When the sample is heated under oxidizing conditions, its mass loss increases significantly. At this time, it forms a yellow glazed surface. It is not possible to observe individual NaCl molecules at this temperature.

It is difficult to observe solid sodium chloride because it has a strong ionic bond. For this reason, the substance has to be viewed as a lattice of sodium and chloride ions. A sodium molecule will have its ionic side facing the oxygen atom of the water molecule and a chlorine molecule will have its ionic side faced towards the hydrogen atom of the water molecule.

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