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Chlorostannates

Chlorostannic acid, H2SnCl6, exists, and from it are derived a number of salts, the stannichlorides.

Chlorostannic Acid, H2SnCl6.6H2O, is formed when the solid pentahydrate SnCl4.5H2O, or a concentrated solution of the chloride is saturated with hydrogen chloride gas. It separates on cooling the liquid to 0° C. in thin plates, which melt at about 20° C. There is a marked similarity between this acid and its salts and chloroplatinic acid, H2PtCl6.6H2O, and its salts, though the latter acid and its salts are the more stable.

Sodium Stannichloride, Na2SnCl6.5H2O, crystallises in prisms when the concentrated solutions of the constituent salts are mixed together, the potassium salt K2SnCl6 crystallises in anhydrous regular octahedra, with which the ammonium salt (NH4)2SnCl6 is isomorphous. This latter salt was formerly used by dyers, and was named pink salt, because of its use as a mordant for madder-red colours; it dissolves in 3 parts of water at 14.5° C., and from its dilute solution stannic hydroxide separates on boiling. A large number of stannichlorides have been prepared containing various amounts of water of crystallisation; the chlorides of barium, cadmium, copper, silver, lead, and thallium, however, appear not to combine with stannic chloride.

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