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Atomic symbol Cl
Atomic number 17
Classification Non-metal
Atomic mass 35.5 amu
Other Information
Date of discovery 1774
Name of discoverer "Carl" Wilhelm Scheele
Name origin "From" the Greek khlôros, refers to the color.
Uses Chlorine is a common component of plastics and is a water purifier commonly used in swimming pools. It is also a bleach.
Obtained from Electrolyzed brine

Chlorine is in Group 7 of the periodic table, making it a halogen along with such elements as fluorine, bromine and iodine. It has an atomic number of 17. Like other halogens, it is reactive to most metals and is never found free in nature. The chlorine molecule (Cl2) contains two chlorine atoms bonded together.


Compounds of chlorine are called chlorides. Common chlorides include:

  • Ammonium chloride, NH4Cl
  • Calcium chloride, CaCl2
  • Lithium chloride, LiCl
  • Potassium chloride, KCl
  • Sodium chloride, NaCl


The primary use of chlorine is in the production of various plastics and artificial fibers, such as polyvinyl chloride. Chlorine is also used as a disinfectant for public water supplies and is an important component of several pharmaceuticals. Chlorine can also bond with an oxygen atom to form sodium hypochlorite (NaClO) which acts as a bleach.[1]