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Chapter 8 – Study of Compounds – Hydrogen Chloride

The following Topics and Sub-Topics are covered in this chapter and are available on MSVgo:


In 1648, hydrogen chloride was found. It’s a precious chemical compound. It can be contained in free form in volcanic gases and mammalian gastric juices. It was invented in 1648 by a chemist named Johann Rudolf Glauber, who used rock salt and concentrated H₂SO₄ to create it. Joseph Priestley was able to acquire it in pure form in 1772.

Hydrogen chloride is made of two atoms and is a diatomic molecule. It is a colourless, toxic gas with an unpleasant, acrid odour and compound of the elements hydrogen and chlorine. It is highly soluble in water and soluble in alcohol and ether. It emits gases when exposed to wet air. It is not flammable and is a mediocre electrical conductor.

Hydrogen Chloride has a molecular formula named HCl and has a molecular mass of 36.5. It forms a Covalent Bond and has a melting point of -114 °C, and the boiling point is -85 °C. Hydrogen Chloride’s formula weight is 36.46, and the value of specific gravity or density is 1.2. It has no flashpoint.

The chemical properties of Hydrogen Chloride as listed below.


Type of ReactionExample
With metal(M+HCl⟶MetalChloride+Hydrogen)


With oxides/hydroxides(MO/MOH+HCl⟶Metal Chloride+water)


With carbonates/bicarbonates(𝑀𝐶𝑂3/𝑀𝐻𝐶𝑂3+HCl⟶MetalChloride+Water+CO2)


With sulphites/bisulphites(𝑀𝑆𝑂3+HCl⟶MetalChloride+Water+Sulphur Dioxide)


With metal sulphide(MS+HCl⟶Metal Chloride+Hydrogen sulphide)


With thiosulphate(Thiosulphate+HCl⟶MetalChloride+Water+𝑆𝑂2+S↓)


With nitrates𝐴𝑔𝑁𝑂3+𝐻𝐶𝑙→𝐴𝑔𝐶𝑙↓+𝐻𝑁𝑂3

In the laboratory, we make hydrogen chloride by treating NaCl with concentrated sulfuric acid. The mixture is then heated to 420 degrees Celsius.


NaCl    +  H2SO4        →       NaHSO4    +   HCl

As a byproduct, we obtain sodium bisulphate, which is insoluble. As a result, we add more NaCl to it. This mixture must be heated to a higher temperature of approximately 823K. It generates soluble sodium sulfate and HCl steam.


NaHSO4    +    NaCl     →        Na2SO4     +    HCl

This HCl is dried by treating it with concentrated H₂SO₄. HCl is not dried in the presence of P₄O1₀ or brisk lime. It is attributed to the fact that it interacts with both of these substances.

The chemical formula for ammonia is NH3. It is a colourless gas with the chemical formula NH3

It is made up of two elements: hydrogen and nitrogen. It’s known as ammonium hydroxide in its aqueous shape. This inorganic material emits a strong odour. It is toxic and caustic in its compressed nature.

Nitric acid has the molecular formula HNO3, which is a strong acid. It’s also known as nitre’s spirit and aqua fortis. It is colourless in its purest nature, but as it ages, it develops a yellow cast. The decomposition of nitric acid into nitrogen oxides and water produces this colour. It’s very corrosive and poisonous. It produces severe burns on the skin. It forms nitrate salts as it interacts with hydroxides, metals, and oxides. 

HNO3 is a strong oxidising agent. The catalytic oxidation of ammonia generates it. It’s a popular laboratory reagent and a significant chemical in the development of explosives and fertilisers. Nitric acid has a PH of roughly 3.01.

Mattling acid or Oil of Vitriol are two other names for H₂SO₄. It is corrosive and has a high acidic disposition. It functions as an oxidising and dehydrating agent at higher concentrations. It’s a clear, syrupy substance with no odour and no colour. It is water-soluble, and when immersed in water, it releases heat. It’s a popular ingredient in fertiliser production. It’s also used in wastewater treatment and chemical synthesis.

In this chapter, we learned about the concept of hydrogen chloride as a compound. We learned about the physical and chemical properties of hydrogen chloride and how it is manufactured. We studied various other compounds like nitric acid, H₂SO₄, and ammonia, along with hydrogen chloride.

  1. Is hydrochloric acid the same as hydrogen chloride?
    The formula for hydrogen chloride (HCl) is a flame (g). Hydrochloric acid is produced as hydrogen chloride dissolves in water.

  2. What do hydrogen and chloride combine to form?
    Hydrogen chloride is produced when hydrogen interacts with chlorine. Hydrogen chloride is a gas with the molecular formula HCl (g). Hydrochloric acid is formed as hydrogen chloride dissolves in water.
  3. Is hydrogen chloride a base or an acid?
    As HCl is absorbed in water, it produces a Lewis acid. As a result, HCl is a heavy acid since it rapidly dissociates in water and produces H+ ions. The dissociation is 99.9%, indicating that it is a strong acid.
  4. What is the purpose of hydrogen chloride?
    Hydrogen chloride has a broad range of applications, including cleaning, pickling, electroplating objects, tanning leather, and processing and manufacturing a wide range of materials. 

  5. What are the distinctions between hydrogen chloride and hydrochloric acid?
    The molecular formula for hydrogen chloride gas and hydrochloric acid is the same: HCl. The distinction is that hydrogen chloride is a gas, while hydrochloric acid is an aqueous solution.

To learn more about the Study of Compounds Hydrogen Chloride through simple, interactive, and explanatory visualisations, download the MSVgo app. MSVgo offers a large base of learning videos as well as interactive learning methods.

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