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Ceric chloride, CeCl4

Ceric chloride, CeCl4, has not been isolated. It can be obtained in solution, but the solution cannot be kept without decomposing. Thus, ceric hydroxide dissolves in cold concentrated hydrochloric acid with the production of a dark red solution; chlorine, however, is slowly evolved, and ultimately a solution of cerous chloride remains. The decomposition proceeds rapidly in hot solutions.

By preparing a solution of ceric chloride in methylalcoholic hydrogen chloride and adding an organic base, crystalline double chlorides may be prepared. The pyridine, quinoline, and triethylamine salts have thus been made, and ascribed the formula CeCl4.2(C5H5N.HCl), CeCl4.2(C9H7N.HCl), and CeCl4.2[(C2H5)3N.HCl]. The compositions of these compounds, however, vary with the amounts of the reacting salts.
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