Iodine vs. Iodide

Difference Between Iodine and Iodide

More often than not, we get confused with the innumerable compound and elements we get to study in our chemistry classes. Two of the most common cause of our academic headaches in the subject is figuring out the differences between same sounding compounds and elements such as Iodine and iodide.

Iodine and Iodide are two of the most confusing of chemical and can only be differentiated by one who has a basic understanding of chemistry. For those who often confuse Iodine with Iodide, here is a breakdown of their differences:

  1. Iodine is a chemical element, Iodide is an Ion.
  2. Iodine, though unstable themselves, is a more stable element than Iodides because Iodides need to bind with other elements and is thus difficult to find in a free state.
  3. Iodine can stand as an independent element; Iodine is an Ion that needs to bind with other elements or compounds to be stable.
  4. Iodine has a high atomic number which is 53 and is represented by the letter I in the chemical table of elements. Iodide, being an ion, cannot be found on the chemical table of elements and is simply represented by 1-.
  5. Iodine is from a family of halogens such as bromine and fluorine and can usually be found in its diatomic state. Iodide is the biggest ion in its family of halides.
  6. Iodine is a reactive element that is purple in color and combines readily with other elements. Iodide, being an Ion of iodine, is the result of iodine’s combination with other compounds.
  7. Iodine and its compounds have plenty of medicinal purposes, like antiseptics, contrast medium, and for the treatment of Goiter, a disease affecting the thyroid causing it to enlarge. This disease is believed to occur because of impaired production of thyroid hormones T3 and T4 because of iodine deficiency. To control such a condition, physicians advocate the use of iodine through Iodine salts.


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