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silver dichromate, also known as silver chloride, is a reddish-orange solid compound that contains the chemical formula Ag2Cr2O7. It is insoluble in water and decomposes when it is treated with hot water. It has an anion with a charge of -2.
It is used in many chemical processes, including the oxidation of organic molecules to produce methanol and acetic acid. It is also a component in the preparation of chromium dichromate for photographic film and the oxidation of benzene to trichloroacetic acid.
When a solution of silver nitrate is mixed with a solution of potassium dichromate, a precipitate of silver dichromate forms. This reaction is a subclass of exchange reactions that occur when one compound displaces another. These double-displacement reactions are important for the isolation of metals that have been extracted from their ores, as well as for recovering precious metals for recycling.
Silver nitrate can be used as a catalyst in reduction reactions. It causes the orange potassium dichromate to lose an oxygen atom. The resulting solution is colored green by the formation of chromium sulfate.
Reduction Reactions Using Silver Nitrate
When an orange solution of potassium dichromate is reacted with an ethanol solution, the potassium dichromate gets reduced to a green solution containing chromium sulfate. The ethanol also gets reduced to acetic acid.
The silver nitrate serves as a catalyst in the oxidation process that converts the dichromate to chromium. The resulting chromium is a more reactive form of the ion and thus reacts faster than the potassium.