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chelating agents(kē`lātĭng). Certain organic compounds are capable of forming coordinate bonds (see chemical bondchemical bond,
mechanism whereby atoms combine to form molecules. There is a chemical bond between two atoms or groups of atoms when the forces acting between them are strong enough to lead to the formation of an aggregate with sufficient stability to be regarded as an
..... Click the link for more information. ) with metals through two or more atoms of the organic compound; such organic compounds are called chelating agents. The compound formed by a chelating agent and a metal is called a chelate. A chelating agent that has two coordinating atoms is called bidentate; one that has three, tridentate; and so on. EDTA, or ethylenediaminetetraacetate, (−O2CH2)2NCH2CH2N(CH2CO2−)2, is a common hexadentate chelating agent. Chlorophyll is a chelate that consists of a magnesium ion joined with a complex chelating agent; heme, part of the hemoglobin in blood, is an iron chelate. Chelating agents are important in textile dyeing, water softening, and enzyme deactivation and as bacteriocides.