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Mercuric Chloride, 20 grams #016-7091
Mercuric Chloride, 20 grams
Chemical Name:
Mercuric Chloride
CAS Number:
Chemical Formula:
Mercury Bichloride, Mercury (II) Chloride

Detailed Product Description:

Mercuric chloride or mercury (II) chloride, a white powder of colorless

and odorless, rhombohedral crystals, soluble in water. It is also called

bichloride of mercury or corrosive sublimate. It is extremely poisonous.

It was formerly used widely, however it is one of the most toxic forms of

mercury due to its high solubility in water. Its solubility increases from

6% at 20 C to 36% in boiling water. In the presence of chloride ions, it

dissolves to give the tetrahedral coordination complex [HgCl4]2-.


This is Reagent-Grade material with a minimum purity of 99.5%


Mercuric chloride is prepared by reacting mercury with chlorine gas or

by subliming a mixture of mercuric sulfate and sodium chloride (common salt).


Until recently, the main application of mercuric chloride is as a catalyst for

the conversion of acetylene to vinyl chloride, the precursor to polyvinylchloride


Historical uses included use as a photographic intensifier to produce positive

pictures in the collodion process of the 1800s. When applied to a negative,

the mercury(II) chloride whitens and thickens the image, thereby increasing the

opacity of the shadows and creating the illusion of a positive image.

For the preservation of anthropological and biological specimens during the late

19th and early 20th centuries, objects were dipped in or were painted with a

"mercuric solution." Objects in drawers were protected by scattering crystalline

mercuric chloride over them.

Mercuric chloride is sometimes used in dilute solution as an antiseptic for

inanimate objects and as a fungicide. It is also used in preparing other

mercury compounds. It reacts with mercury metal to form mercurous chloride.

Other significant applications of mercuric chloride include its use as a depolarizer

in batteries and as a reagent in organic synthesis and analytical chemistry.

Mercuric chloride is occasionally used to form an amalgam with metals, such

as aluminum. Upon treatment with an aqueous solution of mercuric chloride,

aluminum strips quickly become covered by a thin layer of the amalgam.

Normally, aluminum is protected by a thin layer of oxide making it inert. Once

amalgamated, aluminum can undergo a variety of reactions. For example, it

will dissolve in water. Amalgamated aluminum is also used as a reducing agent

in organic synthesis. Zinc is also commonly amalgamated using mercuric chloride.


Mercuric chloride is highly toxic and corrosive. It is both acutely poisonous

and as a cumulative poison.

Once absorbed into the bloodstream, inorganic mercury combines with proteins

in the plasma or enters the red blood cells. The liver is a major site of metabolism

for mercury, and all mercury absorbed from the stomach and intestine is carried

in the blood directly to the liver. It accumulates in the kidneys, and may cause

severe damage. Poisoning can result from inhalation, ingestion, or absorption

through the skin.

Download, read and understand the MSDS and the hazards and precautions

involved with handling this substance.

Click here to download MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet)


Contents of 20 grams comes packed in 125ml sized wide-mouth

HDPE Nalgene lab-quality bottle.

Call For Pricing: (650) 273-2113


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