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Properties of chlorine dioxide

Chlorine dioxide (ClO2) is a chemical compound known for its powerful oxidizing properties and wide range of applications. In this entry, a comprehensive analysis of the outstanding physical and chemical properties, as well as the applications of chlorine dioxide, is carried out.

Physical Properties

Chlorine Dioxide has several outstanding physical properties:


Chlorine dioxide manifests itself as a gas with pale yellow to yellowish-green hues, endowed with a unique aroma . In its pure form, it is highly reactive and unstable, often stored and transported as a compressed gas or in solution.


This compound is moderately soluble in water , the solubility of chlorine dioxide increases significantly with decreasing temperature. This property facilitates its efficient application in water treatment , by dissolving easily and forming a solution rich in chlorine dioxide molecules.


At standard temperature and pressure (STP), the density of chlorine dioxide gas is approximately 2.8 grams per liter. However, its density can vary depending on the conditions and concentration of the chlorine dioxide solution .


Despite its known instability, chlorine dioxide when properly handled and stored can maintain a reasonable shelf life. Stability is increased when chlorine dioxide is stored in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight and certain contaminants.

Chemical properties

The unique chemical properties of chlorine dioxide support its wide spectrum of applications. These properties are:

1. Versatile Oxidizing Agent

Thanks to its high oxidation potential, chlorine dioxide acts as a robust oxidizing agent, reacting with organic and inorganic substances. This versatility makes it effective in industrial processes such as water treatment, wastewater disinfection and pulp bleaching.

2. Exceptional Disinfectant

An outstanding property of chlorine dioxide is its powerful disinfectant capacity . It is highly effective against a wide spectrum of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa. Without a doubt, this makes it a very useful tool for disinfection in medical facilities, food processing plants, and public water systems.

3. Safe and Selective

Unlike other disinfectants, chlorine dioxide is safe and does not generate harmful byproducts such as chlorinated organic compounds. It selectively targets and eliminates harmful microorganisms without leaving residual toxic substances, making it the preferred choice for water treatment and disinfection.

4. High Oxidative Stability

Chlorine dioxide has excellent oxidative stability, remaining active in water for prolonged periods . This stability allows for effective control and long-lasting disinfection compared to other common disinfectants, retaining its effectiveness even at different pH levels.

5. Effective Control of Biofilms

Biofilms consist of slimy layers of microorganisms that cling to surfaces, making it a challenge in terms of disinfection. Chlorine dioxide is highly effective in dismantling and preventing the formation of biofilms , making it an effective solution for industries dealing with problems associated with biofilms.

6. Powerful Odor Control

The oxidizing properties of chlorine dioxide make it an excellent odor control agent. This decomposes and neutralizes bad-smelling volatile organic compounds (VOCs). So it eradicates unpleasant odors in wastewater treatment plants, industrial facilities and public spaces.

7. Environmentally Friendly

Considered an environmentally friendly disinfectant, chlorine dioxide has low levels of toxicity and contributes minimally to the formation of harmful byproducts. Its ability to easily break down into non-toxic substances cements it as a more sustainable option compared to less friendly alternatives.


Chlorine dioxide, as a versatile oxidizing agent, demonstrates remarkable properties. Its effectiveness in disinfection, biofilm control, odor elimination and water treatment makes it a valuable asset in various industries. Its safety and environmental friendliness strengthen its appeal as a preferred disinfectant. As we advance technology, innovative applications of chlorine dioxide continue to expand, contributing to progress in hygiene, sustainability and public health.