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What is the chemical formula of mercuric chloride?

Last updated date: 13th Jun 2024
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Hint: Mercuric chloride or mercury (II) chloride is a chemical compound of mercury and chloride. Mercuric chloride is crystalline in nature and white in color. Like all other mercury compounds, it is also toxic to human beings and is a corrosive sublimate.

Complete step by step answer:
Mercuric chloride is an inorganic compound.
As the name of the compound suggests mercury in this compound is in the +2 oxidation state.
Mercury exhibits two oxidation states +1 and +2, mercurus is used for the naming when mercury is in +1 oxidation state and mercuric is used in case of +2 oxidation state.
Now chloride ion has an oxidation state of -1.
Since mercury is in +2 oxidation state and chlorine in -1, two atoms of chlorine will be required to bond with mercury to form a neutral compound.
Hence, the formula of mercuric chloride of mercury (II) chloride is ${{HgC}}{{{l}}_{{2}}}$.
The molar mass of mercuric chloride is 271.52 g/mol
The compound has a boiling point of ${{302^\circ C}}$.
Preparation of mercuric chloride:
\[{{H}}{{{g}}_{{2}}}{{{(N}}{{{O}}_{{3}}}{{)}}_{{2}}}{{ + 4HCl}} \to {{2HgC}}{{{l}}_{{2}}}{{ + 2}}{{{H}}_{{2}}}{{O + 2N}}{{{O}}_{{2}}}\]
Sometimes mercuric chloride is also prepared by the action of chlorine gas of mercurous chloride or mercury (I) chloride.

In the past mercuric chloride was used for the treatment of syphilis, but due to the highly toxic effects of mercuric chloride, it is no longer used for medical purposes.
The main application of mercuric chloride nowadays is as a catalyst in the conversion of acetylene to vinyl chloride.
It is sometimes also used to amalgamate aluminium so that aluminium can undergo various reactions. Usually, aluminium has a layer of aluminium oxide and due to this is inert, amalgamation removes this nature so that aluminium can undergo various reactions.