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The term Hydrate is used to indicate that the chemical contains some amount of water. The prefix attached to hydrate indicates the number of water molecules per unit.
The prefixes and the number of water molecules that they stand for are as follows (including some examples):
- anhydrate = 0
- e.g. magnesium chloride anhydrate (MgCl2)
- monohydrate = 1
- dihydrate = 2
- pentahydrate = 5
- hexahydrate = 6
- e.g. magnesium chloride hexahydrate (MgCl2.6H2O)
- heptahydrate = 7
- e.g. magnesium sulphate heptahydrate (MgSO4.7H2O)