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Name: Lynn
Status: student
Age: 14
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2000


Question:
When you mix "The Works" toilet bowl cleaner with aluminum foil it produces a gas and I was wondering what gas this is. Could you identify it. Thanks.


Replies:
Toilet bowl cleaners are typically fairly concentrated solutions of hydrochloric acid [HCl] and some detergents. Assuming that, the reaction is: 6HCl + 2Al = 2AlCl3 + 3H2(gas).

Hydrogen is explosively flammable, so one should not play around with this.

By the way, another dangerous "bathroom reaction" is the reaction of chlorine bleach with ammonia, both or which are common household chemicals. When mixed, the reaction produces chloramines -- NCl3, NCl2H, and NClH2. These are very acrid, toxic gases.

Vince Calder



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