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Formula For Hypochlorous Acid

Formula For Hypochlorous Acid

The hypochlorous acid is the name is given to the acid resulting from the union of the oxide acid of chlorine with H 2 O . It receives such a name because chlorine acts with the +1 oxidation state , which is the smallest of the four positives it has: +1, +3, +5 and +7. Its chemical formula is the following: H Cl O , obtained by the following steps:

Acid oxide formation:

Formulation: Cl 2 + O 2 → Cl +1 O -2

Crossing of valences or oxidation state:

Cl 2 + O 2 → Cl +1 2 O -2 1

The 1 that oxygen has is not necessary to write it down, leaving: Cl 2 O.

Result: Cl 2 O


Acid formation:

Formulation: Cl 2 O + H 2 O →

Acid formation: Cl 2 O + H 2 O → H 2 Cl 2 O 2

As the atomicity is the same, it is simplified (H 2 Cl 2 O 2 ) and the result is: HClO

It can be chemically described as a highly unstable, highly reactive, oxygen-dependent, undissociated ion of chlorine. Formula for hypochlorous acid, Being one of the strongest hypohalogenic acids, it is also one of the most powerful oxidants among the chlorinated oxacids and is directly responsible for the bactericidal action of chlorine-derived compounds [Weiss 1989]. Chemically, HClO can be obtained by different methods.


Chemical obtaining of HClO:

Chlorine gas hydrolysis (Cl2 + H2O → HClO + H + + Cl-)

Electrolysis of salt solution (2Cl → Cl2 + 2e-) and (Cl2 + H2O → HClO + H + + Cl-)

Hypochlorite acidification (OCl- + H + → HClO)


Hypochlorous acid is part of a new group of microbicidal substances known as "non-antibiotic antimicrobial molecules", also known as disinfectants, which act by oxidation of organic matter. Biologically in very low concentrations it has been found in the human body, and is classified within a group of small molecules known as reactive oxygen species (ROS), synthesized by cells of the immune system ( neutrophils and macrophages ) during an immunological process known as "respiratory burst", during phagocytosis of antigens in reaction with the enzyme myeloperoxidase hydrogen peroxide (H 2 O 2 ) and a chlorine ion. It functions as a chemotactic substance that allows excellent microbial control and activation of the defense system that facilitates rapid and innocuous tissue repair.

Small History On Formula For Hypochlorous Acid

The therapeutic uses of HClO began in the First World War , when the alarming increase in deaths from infections in soldiers led to the search for a disinfectant that was applied directly to wounds, that would destroy microorganisms and their toxins, without damaging normal tissue. In 1915, the screening of more than 200 compounds with bactericidal action allowed researchers Alexis Carrel and Henry Dakin to obtain a buffered sodium hypochlorite solution (Dakin's solution), which generated ideal concentrations of HClO. They treated wounds, fractures, suppurative joints and other pathologies of this order, with large volumes (1 to 2 liters / day) of the buffered solution.

They found great bactericidal activity, without tissue damage, or difficulty in wound healing (despite the large volumes supplied). This procedure, like the name of the solution, is known as the Carrel-Dakin technique, which became a method of treating infected wounds during the War. Unfortunately the low stability of the solution, the time consuming method of preparation and the large volumes required, made the method lose its validity.

In the mid-1980s, research on hypochlorous acid was resumed. In 1989, the British scientist Stephen J. Weiss observed in vitro the bactericidal power of HClO released by neutrophils. Quantitative analyzes showed that activating 0  neutrophils, during a two-hour incubation, produced approximately 2 · 10 -7 mol of HClO, an amount capable of destroying 150 million E. coli bacteria .

Multiple laboratories worldwide are also working to obtain stable HClO solutions for therapeutic purposes, aimed at the treatment of various skin pathologies, in order to ratify HClO as the antiseptic of the future. The Colombian researcher Justo Calderón Robles, in 1993, managed to stabilize the HClO molecule for medical purposes for the treatment and control of infections in chronic and complex wounds such as:

Lower limb ulcers of any origin (varicose, ischemic ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, etc.).

  • Second and third degree burns.
  • Control of skin infections.
  • Care of clean, contaminated and necrotic wounds.
  • Washing and care of bone exposures.
  • Cellulitis, abscesses, topical fungi.

The Colombian HClO formulation is considered the first pharmaceutical formulation in the world, based on hypochlorous acid, to which the Colombian regulatory authorities gave the name of Neutroderm.

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