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Environmental fate & pathways

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VCl4 is the least stable vanadium chloride. Its decomposition is driven by heat, dissolved Cl2 concentration, humidity or light, following the equation:

VCl4 + H2O => VOCl2 + 4 HCl

The dissolution reaction in water is exothermic, instantaneous (half-life of VCl4 < 1 hour – VCl4 can be considered as a hydrolytically unstable substance), gives white fumes of HCl and the pH of the solution is < 2.

Then the decomposition with the humidity of air follows the equations:


2VOCl2+ 2H2O => 2VO2+ 4HCl


That is why no data is available for VCl4 as such and in solution V2O4 is stable in the form of V4 +.

This reaction is verified weekly in laboratory by the color change when VCl4 is exposed to the air (brown to blue).Testing for hydrolysis is then technically impossible and scientifically unjustified: instantaneous decomposition of VCl4 (half-life of VCl4 < 1 hour) in presence of humidity of air do not allow hydrolysis testing

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