Bleach: Chlorine vs. Non-Chlorine
Name: Jean G.
Date: Wednesday, June 26, 2002
I would like to know the difference in chlorine bleach
and non-chlorine bleach?
In general, bleaches are oxidizing agents and in principle any oxidizing
agent can function as a bleaching agent. The most common household bleaches
"chlorine" bleaches and "peroxide" bleaches.
The active species in "chlorine" bleaches is the molecule HOCl and
OCl(-1), its anion. The general reaction for a hypothetical substance "R"
2H(+1) + HOCl + R -----> R(+2) + H2O + HCl
It is actually more complicated than this but this illustrates that
"oxidation" is the loss of electrons, and "reduction" is the gain of
Non-chlorine bleaches are usually based on hydrogen peroxide:
2H(+1) + H2O2 + R -----> R(+2) + 2H2O
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Update: June 2012