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What is the difference between available chlorine and active chlorine in a hypochlorite solution?


Available chlorine and active chlorine are both measures of the amount of chlorine present in a hypochlorite solution, which is commonly used as a disinfectant. However, there are some key differences between the two measures. Available chlorine refers to the total amount of chlorine present in a hypochlorite solution, including both free chlorine and combined chlorine. Free chlorine is present as hypochlorous acid (HOCl) or hypochlorite ion (OCl-), and is the active form of chlorine that is responsible for the disinfection properties of the solution. Combined chlorine is formed when free chlorine reacts with ammonia or other compounds, and is less effective as a disinfectant. Active chlorine, on the other hand, refers specifically to the amount of free chlorine present in the solution. It is a measure of the chlorine that is available to kill bacteria and other microorganisms. In summary, while available chlorine includes all forms of chlorine in a hypochlorite solution, active chlorine is a more specific measure of the chlorine that is actively disinfecting. Therefore, active chlorine is a more accurate measure of the disinfection potential of a hypochlorite solution.