X-ray diffraction study of ferric chloride solutions and hydrated melt. Analysis of the iron (III)-chloride complexes formation

Mauro Magini, Tamas Radnai

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A series of concentrated ferric chloride solutions, both neutral and acidic, as well as the hydrated melt FeCl3-OH2O have been studied by x-ray diffraction. The changes in the radial distribution curves by varying iron concentration or Cl-/Fe3+ ratio and least squares fitting of the structure functions for various solute models lead to an unambiguous conclusion with respect to the dominant species which are present in the solutions. The existence of monochloro, dichloro, trichloro, and tetrachloro complexes, predicted by literature information in dilute solutions, has been established in the different solutions investigated. Octahedral complexes, mainly Fe(H2O)4Cl2+ and Fe(H2O)3Cl3, are the principal species occurring in neutral and acidic solutions while in the hydrated melt tetrahedral FeCl4- predominates. Species of the type FeCl 5(H2O)2- or FeCl63- as well as polymeric network are excluded. Hydration water molecules around Cl - anions has been found for both free chloride and chloride ions bonded to iron atoms. Second order interactions around Fe3+ ions are strongly suggested by the presence of a large peak at about 4.2 Å in the distribution curves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4255-4262
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of Chemical Physics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1979


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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