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What does FE(CLO3)3 mean?

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Quick Answer

In chemistry, Fe(ClO3)3 is the molecular formula for the compound iron(III) chlorate. The formula uses symbols to represent each element in the compound, with Fe for iron, Cl for chlorine and O for oxygen.

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Full Answer

In a chemical formula, the number directly after the element indicates the number of atoms of that element in a single molecule of the compound. A number after a parenthesis indicates how many of the elements in parentheses are present. For Fe(ClO3)3, the three after the O indicates three atoms of oxygen, while the three after the parenthesis applies to both the Cl and the O3, for a total of three atoms of chlorine and nine atoms of oxygen.

In the name iron(III) chlorate, the Roman numeral "III" indicates the charge on the iron ion in the compound, which is +3. The compound chlorate carries a charge of -1, which is found by adding together the charges of the oxygen atoms and the chlorine atom. When the two ions combine, they balance one another's charges to create a neutral molecule. Balancing the +3 charge on a single atom of iron requires ions of chlorate to create a -3 charge. Iron(III) chlorate has a molar mass of 306.19 grams per mole. It is also called ferric chlorate.

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