Chemistry of Silver Chloride


It is prepared by the action of silver nitrate solution and sodium chloride solution.
$$\ce{AgCl + NH4OH ->$\underset{\text{White ppt.}}{\ce{AgCl v}}$ + NaNO3 (aq.)}$$

The precipitate is separated by filtration and washed with water and then dried.

Physical properties:

  • It is a white gold.
  • It is sparingly soluble in water.
  • It melts at 455oC and boils at 1550oC.

Chemical properties:

1. Action of light: When silver chloride is exposed to light, silver is formed.
$$\ce{2AgCl->[\text{Sunlight}]2Ag + Cl2}

2. Action with ammonia: Silver chloride gets dissolved in ammonia solution to give diammine silver chloride.

$$\ce{AgCl + 2NH4OH->$\underset{\text{Diammine silver chloride}}{\ce{[Ag(NH3)2]Cl}}$ + H2}$$

3. Action with Potassium cyanide: With limited amount of potassium cyanide, silver chloride gives siver cynide. While in excess of KCN, AgCl dissolves and thereby forms a soluble complex.

$$\ce{AgCl + KCN(limited)->AgCN(s) + KCl (aq) }$$

$$\ce{AgCl + KCN (excess)-> $\underset{\text{Potassium argentocyanide}}{\ce{K[Ag(CN)2]}}$}$$


  • It is used in photographic film.
  • It is used as a laboratory reagent.

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