Is HCl Polar or Nonpolar?

Answer: HCl is a polar molecule due to the large electronegativity difference between Chlorine (3.16) and hydrogen (2.20). This causes a region of partial positive charge on the hydrogen atom and a region of partial negative charge on the chlorine halide. 

Typically the formula HCl can refer to one of two "concepts": the compound hydrogen chloride and hydrochloric acid, the aqueous form of hydrogen chloride. The compound has a melting point of -114˚C and a boiling point of -85˚C. This means that it is a gas at standard temperature and pressure. As mentioned the compound is soluble in water but it is also soluble in slightly less polar molecules such as ethanol and acetone. It is described as having a "pungent" odor. Hydrogen chloride has an in fact quite storied history being originally discovered by alchemists in the middle ages. Today it is recommended that HCl be handled with extreme caution as HCl forms a corrosive acid when inhaled or when in contact with any part of your skin.

HCl Ball and Stick Diagram
HCl Ball and Stick Diagram. Created with MolView.
How is HCl utilized in the real world?

Basically all of the prominent uses of HCl are for hydrochloric acid. This includes removing impurities from steel, as a reagent in the production of organic products utilized in pharmaceutical manufacturing, pH control and oil processing. The acid is also present within organism's digestive tract to support the process of degrading eaten foodstuffs.

Comments