An ionic compound is a chemical compound comprising of ions that are held together by electrostatic forces which are in other words known as ionic bonding. Ionic compounds are neutral but they also comprise of positively charged ions known as cations. The same chemical compound consists of negatively charged ions known as anions. A good example of ionic compounds includes sodium chloride and ammonium carbonate.
These compounds have for a long time been used in different industries. Below are some of the most common uses of ionic compounds.
1. Food seasoning-many minerals are ionic. As a matter of fact, humans have been using Sodium Chloride commonly known as common salt for over 8000 years now. It is actually used in food seasoning. It’s a part of us that we encounter every single day.
2. Preservative. Common salt is also known as Sodium Chloride is also used as a preservative. It has actually been used as a preservative for years. Sodium Chloride has been used to preserve foods in two common ways. The first and most common way is that it draws water out of food and eventually dehydrates it. The main functionality here is that all living things need water to grow. For this lesson, if the water is drawn from the food, bacteria and other microorganisms cannot survive. This reduces the chances of food poisoning. The other way is that it kills microbes. As a matter of fact, salt is very toxic to most microbes and hence it can kill them and preserve food.
3. De-icing roads. There are many new ways of de-icing roads but the most common and the oldest method is the use of salt. This activity has been carried out using Sodium Chloride. The main reason why most countries still use sodium chloride is that it’s inexpensive and is also readily available. It’s also a very natural method of doing this.
4. Wood preservatives. The treatment of wood has been practiced as long as the use of the woods themselves. Treated wood was initially used for agricultural and industrial purposes. Although there are many other methods of preserving wood, the most common method is the use of ionic compounds including sodium chloride. The other commonly used wood preservative includes Boric acid and oxides. They are all supplied under very many world brand names which is the reason why you can find different names for the same.
5. Plant stimulants. Although there’s a little study on the same, salt has been regarded as a very effective plant growth stimulant. However, the majority of experts claim that this is not a very effective use because it can greatly affect the plant and at the end of it initiate something called salt stress in plants.
6. Growth regulators. Some ionic compounds can excite the natural hormones and at the same time allow the synchronization of plant development to occur. Some of the most common plant regulators include the Gibberellic acid. This and many others stimulate the effect of long day lengths in short-day plants which eventually improves vegetative development.
7. Some ionic compounds can be easily dissolved to provide electrolyte solutions. This is actually the case with salt and several other ionic compounds. The method of dissolving these ionic compounds is a simple way of controlling their concentration and ionic strength. This is the same functionality that affects the osmotic pressure and also affects the boiling point.
8. Water fluoridation. In some cases, some chemical identity of the ions added supply fluoride ions. This is another very common use of ionic compounds. It may not be very common use of ionic compounds but it’s a common practice in water fluoridation.
9. Paint pigmentation. Solid ionic compounds have been used as paint pigmentation for their resistance to organic solvents. Though, they are very sensitive to acidity. For many years, some ionic compounds have been used as sources of pigment color on fireworks.
10. Fireworks. In many cases, ionic compounds including Barium Chloride can be used to make fireworks simply because it releases green colored explosions. This is a very common use of ionic compounds because you will not miss one of these on compounds on such functionalities.
Ionic compounds have many other uses. As a matter of fact, you have interacted with many of these compounds in day to day life. Children who have lost ions in their bodies are in some cases given electrolytes. Lithium iodine is also used in batteries because it’s a very good conductor of electricity. Lastly, combat chloride test papers are used to detect moisture.