MLA Citation: Bloomfield, Louis A. "Question 726"
How Everything Works 14 Aug 2018. 14 Aug 2018 <>.
726. How is chlorine gas used to disinfect water at treatment plants? - KM
Chlorine molecules (Cl2) dissolve easily in water, where they react with water molecules to form hypochlorous acid (HOCl), chlorine ions (Cl-) and hydrogen ions (H+). Hypochlorous acid is a weak acid that partially dissociates into hydrogen ions (H+) and hypochlorite ions (OCl-). Studies have shown that it's predominantly the hypochlorous acid molecules and the hypochlorite ions that disable and kill microorganisms. These molecules and ions diffuse onto and into the microorganisms and oxidize important biological components, such as the protein coats of some viruses, key enzymes in many bacteria, and the genetic materials in both bacteria and viruses. — Thanks to J. Symons for pointing out this mechanism to me and providing me with detailed reference materials.

Return to
Generated for printing on Tuesday, August 14, 2018 at 2:24:36 EDT
Copyright 1997-2018 © Louis A. Bloomfield, All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy