Mercuric Chloride


Mercuric Chloride is a compound which is highly toxic and it can be volatile at an ordinary temperature. In the Middle Age, the physicians of Arab used it for disinfecting the woods. It is considered a coordination entity of the mercury and is created from the molecules of the triatomic. In this part, a mercury atom is bonded to two chlorines. It is soluble in water and applied in the preservation of wood.

Definition: Mercuric Chloride

Mercuric chloride is a chemical name that bears the formula of $\mathrm{HgCl_2}$. The formation of this compound happens with the together reaction of chlorine and mercury. It has been given many names like Mercury ii chloride, or Mercury (II) chloride, or Dichlor Mercury. It is highly toxic in nature and it is corrosive to the membranes of the mucous.

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Figure 1: Mercuric chloride

It has many uses like in the preservation of foods and in antiseptics. It bears the color white but has no odour and it is called a crystalline solid. Mercury atom is the most important part of this compound and it has a bond with the triatomic molecule. The compound shows many properties and it gives a description of the density, weight, boiling and melting point, volatile nature and many more.

Properties of Mercuric Chloride

The research on $\mathrm{HgCl_2}$ says that it consists of some important properties. They are described below in the table.

$\mathrm{HgCl_2}$Mercuric chloride

Molecular weight

271.52 g/mol


5.43 g/cm3

Boiling point


Melting point


Table 1: Properties of $\mathrm{HgCl_2}$

The different properties give a specific definition of this molecule and it says about the chemical formula of mercuric chloride. The weight based on the molecule says about the important part and the specific density describes the characteristic feature. In this part, the boiling and melting points are also important.

The specific feature also says that it is slightly volatile in ordinary temperature. It has the capacity of solubility and it is 5 to 10 my/ml. This compound is considered to be toxic when digested, absorbed by the skin, or inhaled.

Mercuric Chloride Structure

The structure of the mercuric chloride, says that it is composed of linear triatomic molecules. This factor proves that it has a sublime tendency and it has a specific bond. The factors regarding this matter say that every atom of mercury is bonded with two chloride ligands. It does not exist as a salt composed of discrete ions.

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Figure 2: Structure of Mercuric chloride

This compound consists of an orthogonal crystalline structure and it is the most important compound. It consists of the formula and it is molecular in nature $\mathrm{HgCl_2}$. It is made up of two chloride anions $\mathrm{(Cl^–)}$ and one mercury cation $\mathrm{(Hg2^+)}$. That is the reason for bearing such a formula for this compound. It consists of the mass of 271.908 g/mol and here the doner number and the acceptor number are equal to zero. It is created with only one unit of covalent bond.

Uses of Mercuric Chloride

There are different uses of chloride related to mercury and it shows various effective uses. Its main use is seen in the preservation of anatomical specimens. It is applied in the process of leather tanning and in the creation process of ink. The ink creation leads to the process of micrography.

Some other uses of this process include:

  • It is applied as an ant repellent

  • In the case of a dry battery, it is effectively present

  • Used as a catalyst

  • Applied in photography

  • Help in the process of antiseptic and disinfectant.

It is the main component and uses as an intensifier. It is considered to be the stable agent in the analytical samples as well as in chemical samples. It is important in the formation of the amalgamation of metals like aluminium. It is simply used in converting the vinyl chloride from acetylene.


The tutorial shows that Mercuric chloride is a solid compound and is made up of chlorine and mercury. They are considered the most important chemical compounds which react together for the formation of $\mathrm{HgCl_2}$. It is white in colour but it is an odourless compound having a crystalline nature. The presence of two chlorine helps in bounding the mercury atom and it is named as triatomic molecule. It has a dissolving quality and it can dissolve in water.


Q1. What is the process of preparation of Mercuric chloride?

Ans. The obtaining process of Mercuric chloride is done by the action of chlorine on mercury. In the preparation process, hydrochloric acid takes an important role. It can also be prepared by the action of chlorine on mercury.

Q2. What are the health complications of Mercuric chloride?

Ans. It is a compound consisting of a nature highly toxic and it is used as a cumulative toxin or used directly. It is highly toxic due to the presence of the compound of the properties. It causes internal damage to the parts like stomach, mouth, and throat.

Q3. What does $\mathrm{HgCl_2}$ used for?

Ans. The $\mathrm{HgCl_2}$ is mainly used for preserving the anatomical specimens. It can also use in the tanning of leather and is important in antiseptics. In the process of manufacturing the ink, this compound is used. This compound has been used as a reagent.

Q4. What is the physical description of Mercuric chloride?

Ans. Mercuric chloride consists the description is physical and it says that it is an an odourless white crystalline solid. It melts to a point and it is 277°C and acquires a density which is 5.4 g / cm3. At a general temperature, it is slightly volatile and proves as toxic when it is inhaled.