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Difference Between Double Salt and Coordination Compound

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What is Double Salt and Coordination Compound: Introduction

To explain double salt and coordination compound: Double salts refer to compounds formed by the combination of two or more distinct salts, typically through crystallization from a solution. These compounds retain their separate identities and can be easily separated into their constituent salts by appropriate methods. Double salts exhibit specific stoichiometric ratios and often have distinct colors and crystal structures. On the other hand, coordination compounds are complex structures formed by the coordination of a central metal ion or atom with surrounding ligands. Ligands are molecules or ions that donate electron pairs to the metal center, forming coordination bonds. Coordination compounds are renowned for their diverse geometries, colorations, and catalytic properties, making them vital in fields like medicine, materials science, and industrial applications. Let’s further know about the characteristics of double salt and coordination compound.


Defining Double Salt

A double salt refers to a compound formed by the combination of two or more distinct salts. It is created through the crystallization process from a solution containing the constituent salts. Unlike a simple mixture, a double salt exhibits a specific stoichiometric ratio of its components and possesses distinct physical properties, such as unique crystalline structures and characteristic colors. Double salts can be easily separated into their constituent salts by appropriate techniques. They find applications in various industries, including pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and manufacturing, owing to their specific compositions and properties. Some characteristics of double salts are:

  • Stoichiometry: Double salts exhibit a specific and fixed stoichiometric ratio between their constituent salts. This ratio remains constant throughout the compound.

  • Crystalline Structure: Double salts typically have well-defined crystalline structures. The arrangement of the constituent ions in the crystal lattice contributes to the characteristic shapes and crystal habits observed.

  • Distinct Color: Double salts often possess unique colors due to the presence of different metal ions or ligands in the crystal structure. The specific combination of ions can result in vibrant or characteristic colorations.

  • Solubility: The solubility of double salts can differ from their constituent salts. They may exhibit different solubility properties, especially when compared to simple mixtures of individual salts.

  • Separation: Double salts can be easily separated into their constituent salts by appropriate methods, such as selective precipitation or evaporation of the solvent.


Defining Coordination Compound

A coordination compound refers to a complex entity formed by the coordination of a central metal ion or atom with surrounding ligands. Ligands are molecules or ions that possess lone pairs of electrons and donate them to the metal center, forming coordination bonds. The coordination compounds exhibit distinctive properties, including diverse geometries, characteristic colors, and unique chemical reactivity. These compounds play a pivotal role in various applications, such as catalysis, materials science, and medicine. The specific arrangement of ligands around the central metal ion and their coordination interactions contribute to the formation of stable and intricate structures, giving rise to the intriguing properties of coordination compounds. Some characteristics of coordination compounds are:

  • Central Metal Ion: Coordination compounds consist of a central metal ion or atom that acts as the focal point for coordination with ligands.

  • Coordination Number: The coordination number represents the ligands attached to the central metal ion. It indicates the spatial arrangement of ligands around the metal center.

  • Coordination Geometry: The coordination geometry describes the spatial arrangement of ligands around the central metal ion. Common geometries include octahedral, tetrahedral, square planar, and trigonal bipyramidal.

  • Chelation: Chelation occurs when a ligand forms multiple coordination bonds with the central metal ion, resulting in the formation of a chelate complex. Chelation enhances the stability and reactivity of the coordination compound.

  • Color: Many coordination compounds exhibit vibrant colors due to the presence of metal d-electrons. Light absorption in specific regions of the electromagnetic spectrum leads to the observed colors.


Double Salt and Coordination Compound Differences

S.No

Category 

Double Salt

Coordination Compound

1.

Composition

Combination of two or more distinct salts

Central metal ion/atom coordinated with ligands

2.

Formation

Crystallization from a solution

Coordination of ligands to the central metal ion

3.

Stoichiometry

Fixed stoichiometric ratio

Variable coordination number and ratios of ligands

4.

Separation

Easily separable into constituent salts

Not easily separable without breaking coordination bonds

5. 

Crystal Structure

Well-defined crystalline structure

Complex and varied structures

6. 

Ligands

Typically lack ligands

Ligands are essential for coordination


This table provides a concise overview of the main differences between  double salt and coordination compounds, including their composition, separation, stoichiometry, crystal structure, etc.


Summary 

Double salts and coordination compounds are important entities in chemistry, each possessing unique characteristics and properties. Double salts may display unique physical and chemical properties that differ from those of the individual constituent salts. These properties can be exploited in various applications, such as pharmaceuticals, pigments, or catalysis. Whereas, many coordination compounds display magnetic behavior due to the presence of unpaired electrons in the metal d-orbitals and exhibit catalytic properties, facilitating chemical reactions through the coordination of reactants or activation of intermediates.

Last updated date: 26th Sep 2023
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FAQs on Difference Between Double Salt and Coordination Compound

1. What is a double salt and how is it formed?

A double salt refers to a compound formed by the combination of two or more distinct salts. It is created through the process of crystallization from a solution containing the constituent salts. When the solution becomes saturated, the two salts combine and form a crystal lattice with a fixed stoichiometric ratio. The formation of a double salt occurs due to the specific interactions between the ions of the constituent salts, resulting in a unique compound with distinct physical and chemical properties.

2. Provide an example of a double salt and explain its formation process.

One example of a double salt is Mohr's salt, which has the chemical formula Fe(NH4)2(SO4)2·6H2O. Mohr's salt is formed through the combination of ferrous sulfate (FeSO4) and ammonium sulfate (NH4)2SO4 in a solution. When these two salts are dissolved together and the solution is allowed to crystallize, Mohr's salt crystals are formed. The formation process involves the coordination of the ferrous (Fe2+) ions from ferrous sulfate with the sulfate (SO4^2-) ions from ammonium sulfate, resulting in the formation of a distinct crystalline structure with a fixed stoichiometric ratio.

3. What is the main difference between a double salt and a simple mixture of salts?

The main difference between a double salt and a simple mixture of salts lies in their composition and behavior. A double salt is a compound formed by the combination of two or more distinct salts through a specific chemical reaction. It has a fixed stoichiometric ratio and exhibits unique physical and chemical properties that are different from its constituent salts. On the other hand, a simple mixture of salts refers to a physical combination of two or more salts without any chemical reaction. In a mixture, the constituent salts retain their individual identities and can be easily separated through physical means, without forming a new compound. The properties of a mixture are generally a combination of the properties of its constituents.

4. How can double salts be separated into their constituent salts?

Double salts can be separated into their constituent salts through various methods based on the differences in solubility or reactivity of the individual salts. One common method is selective precipitation, where a reagent is added to the double salt solution to selectively precipitate one of the constituent salts. The precipitate can then be separated from the remaining solution. Another approach is through the use of solvent extraction, where a solvent is employed to selectively dissolve one of the salts while leaving the other behind. Evaporation of the solvent then allows for the recovery of the separated salts. Additionally, techniques such as crystallization, filtration, and centrifugation can also aid in the separation of double salts into their individual components.

5. What are ligands in coordination compounds, and what role do they play?

Ligands in coordination compounds are molecules or ions that donate electron pairs to the central metal ion or atom. They coordinate with the metal center through coordination bonds, which are formed by the sharing or donation of electron pairs. Ligands can be neutral molecules like water (H2O) or ammonia (NH3), or they can be negatively charged ions like chloride (Cl-) or cyanide (CN-). The role of ligands is crucial in coordination compounds as they influence the geometry, stability, and reactivity of the complex. They determine the coordination number, shape, and electronic properties of the compound, and can also affect its magnetic, optical, and catalytic properties.