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What are common polyatomic ions?

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Quick Answer

Some common biological polyatomic ions include phosphate, which is incorporated into nucleic acids, and ammonium, which is a product of nitrogen fixation. Citrate is an important intermediate in the citric acid cycle. Polyatomic ions are essential components of biological systems, as well as industrial and household chemicals.

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Full Answer

Polyatomic ions found in foods include acetate, typically as its sodium salt to impart a vinegar flavor, and benzoate as a preservative in the form of its sodium or potassium salt. Hydroxide is found in commercial cleaning products, such as Drano, as its sodium or potassium salt. Cyanide is a poisonous polyatomic ion that finds use in metal etching and extraction of gold in the mining industry.

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