Acids have practically no action on the metal, but it is soluble in solutions of the alkaline hypochlorites.
Thus the chlorine oxyacids enumerated above form salts named respectively hypochlorites, chlorites, chlorates and perchlorates.
Balard discovered chlorine monoxide in 1834, investigating its properties and reactions; and his observations on hypochlorous acid and hypochlorites led him to conclude that " bleaching-powder " or " chloride of lime " was a compound or mixture in equimolecular proportions of calcium chloride and hypochlorite, with a little calcium hydrate.
Nascent hydrogen reduces it to hydroxylamine (q.v.), whilst solutions of hypochlorites oxidize it to nitric acid.
It is obvious that, with suitable methods and apparatus, the electrolysis of alkaline chlorides may be made to yield chlorine, hypochlorites (bleaching liquors), chlorates or caustic alkali, but that great care must be exercised if any of these products is to be obtained pure and with economy.