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Question Video: Using the Water Solubility Rules to Determine Which Chloride Compound Is Insoluble Chemistry

Which of the following ionic compounds of chloride is insoluble in water? [A] Potassium chloride [B] Silver chloride [C] Aluminum chloride [D] Magnesium chloride [E] Sodium chloride


Video Transcript

Which of the following ionic compounds of chloride is insoluble in water? (A) Potassium chloride, (B) silver chloride, (C) aluminum chloride, (D) magnesium chloride, or (E) sodium chloride.

The question is asking us to identify the compound that is insoluble in water, which means when mixed with water, the compound will be unable to be dissolved. This means the ionic compound, which is composed of cations and anions, when added to water, would not break apart into its respective ions and would not dissolve in the water, likely settling at the bottom of the container. We can identify the insoluble compound by referencing the water solubility rules.

Let’s first look at compounds that are considered soluble in water and what ions they contain. Compounds containing alkaline metal cations or lithium, sodium, potassium, rubidium, or cesium ions are soluble in water as well as compounds containing ammonium ions, nitrate ions, bicarbonate ions, chlorate ions, or acetate ions. Compounds containing halide ions such as chloride ions, bromide ions, or iodide ions are also soluble in water unless the compound also contains silver ions, mercury(I) ions, or lead(II) ions. Compounds containing sulfate ions are soluble unless the compound also contains silver, calcium, strontium, barium, mercury(I), or lead(II) ions.

Let’s have a look at the ions that cause compounds to be insoluble in water. Compounds containing carbonate ions, phosphate ions, sulfide ions, or hydroxide ions are generally considered insoluble in water unless ions of lithium, sodium, potassium, rubidium, cesium, or ammonium are also present. Compounds containing sulfide ions have additional exceptions to their insolubility when ions of calcium, barium, or strontium are present with compounds containing hydroxide ions having the same additional exceptions.

The ionic compounds we are working with are all chlorides, which we can see from the names of the compounds given in the answer choices. If we locate our solubility rule regarding compounds containing chloride ions, we can see that chloride compounds are generally water-soluble, unless the compound also contains silver, mercury(I), or lead(II) cations.

Let’s have a look at the answer choices. Answer choice (A) contains potassium ions, which is an alkali metal, and this compound is therefore soluble in water with no exceptions. We can eliminate answer choice (A). Answer choice (B) contains silver. When a chloride compound contains silver, the compound is insoluble as listed in the exception to the solubility of chloride-containing compounds. Therefore, answer choice (B) is the compound that is insoluble in water. We can confirm this as answer choices (C), (D), and (E) all contain cations that are not listed as exceptions to the solubility of chloride-containing compounds. Answer choices (C), (D), and (E) are all soluble in water.

Therefore, the ionic compound of chloride that is insoluble in water is answer choice (B), silver chloride.

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