HCl is well-known as hydrochloric mountain or muriatic acid. It is just one of the members that hydrogen halides (HX). Hydrogen halides are inorganic diatomic molecules and act together Arrhenius mountain owing come their propensity to lose proton in the solution. The X is a member the the halogen household (group 17) and also hence, it can be fluorine, chlorine, bromine, and iodine.

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Hydrochloric mountain is a colorless and transparent solution of hydrogen chloride in water. That is a strong acid with a pungent smell.

The melting and boiling clues of the hydrogen chloride solution space not addressed as they rely upon the concentration the its aqueous solution. Similarly, the values of pH and density the the hydrogen chloride solution room not fixed.

If we open up a bottle of focused HCl solution, we deserve to observe the fumes in the air through a pungent smell.Hydrochloric acid is present on our stomach and also helps in the cradle of food. The high concentration that this acid in the stomach leads to acidity problems.

HCl is offered in the synthesis of various organic and inorganic compounds and also it is likewise used for the rebirth of ion exchanges, i m sorry are offered for the purification the water.

So, is HCl Ionic or Covalent? HCl is a covalent compound due to the fact that the electronegativity difference in between hydrogen and also chloride is much less than 2.0. However, that is not a true covalent compound as chlorine is much more electronegative than hydrogen and hence, the will entice a mutual pair that electrons in the direction of itself. Hence, the HCl molecule is a covalent compound through a 17 % ionic character.

The H-Cl bond will act as a dipole with a partial confident charge and also a partial an unfavorable charge top top the hydrogen atom and also chlorine atom, respectively, in the HCl molecule.

The worth of partial fee in HCl is ±0. 027 x 10−18 C.

Let us discuss the covalent nature of hydrogen chloride in detail.

For that, we must start v the basics of chemistry bonding, i.e., what is a chemical bond and how the is formed.

Chemical Bond

First that all, allow us have actually a look at a contemporary periodic table.


As we all are aware that atoms of the contemporary periodic table do not exist freely in nature other than for group 18 members. Hence, they incorporate either through the same atom or through a various atom, causing the formation of elements and compounds, respectively.

This pressure of attraction in between two very same atoms or different atoms, which help in bringing them together is well-known as a chemistry bond.

How chemistry bonds room formed?

An atom consists of subatomic particles i.e., protons, electrons, and also neutrons. The end of these 3 particles, just electrons participate in the formation of a bond.

We recognize that one atomic number of an atom synchronizes to the variety of electrons in one atom.

Now, a question arises the whether all electrons existing in an atom participate in the bond formation?

No, all electrons perform not take part in the shortcut formation. The just electrons, i m sorry are existing in the outermost covering of the atom, contribute towards the bond formation. This electrons are recognized as Valence Electrons.

The electrons, which are existing in the inner shell of the atom, are recognized as main point Electrons and they do not get involved in the shortcut formation.

Hence, a chemical bond is formed when over there is share of electron density in between two atoms. This sharing of electron density may be equal or unequal in between atoms.


Types of chemical Bonds

There space two species of chemical bonds, i beg your pardon are existing in the molecule i.e. Ionic and Covalent Bonds.

Ionic Bonds: The ionic bond are created by delivering electron (s) indigenous one atom to another atom. Over there is one electrostatic force of attraction in between cations and also anions in an ionic bond.

Covalent Bonds: The covalent binding are created by share of an electron pair (s) between two atoms. The covalent bonds are more classified together single, double, and triple bonds relying on the variety of electron pairs mutual within 2 atoms.

Now, just how to differentiate whether a specific chemical bond is one ionic link or a covalent bond?

Obviously, us cannot answer this concern by looking in ~ atoms involved in link formation. We need a quantitative parameter to identify the ionic and covalent bonds. That parameter is Electronegativity values.

Let us know, what is electronegativity?


It is the residential property of one atom through which an atom attracts the common electron pair towards it. The electronegativity worths of the atoms are taken from the Pauling scale.

If the electronegativity difference between two atoms in a chemical bond is higher than 2.0, climate the chemistry bond is thought about an Ionic bond. However, if this difference is much less than 2.0 on the Pauling scale, then there is a covalent bond.

Why is HCl Covalent in nature?

In the case of Hydrogen chloride (HCl),

The electronegativity value of the hydrogen atom = 2.20

The electronegativity value of the chlorine atom = 3.16

The electronegativity distinction of the H-Cl shortcut = 0.96

The electronegativity difference of the H-Cl bond is only 0.96 on the Pauling scale, indicating the covalent nature that the H-Cl bond.

Hence, hydrogen chloride is a covalent compound.

However, hydrogen chloride is not a true covalent compound. Why is the so and what space true covalent compounds?

Why is HCl not a true Covalent Compound?

A true covalent link is created when there is an equal sharing of the electron from every atom in the molecule such as homonuclear molecule i.e., H-H, F-F, and also Cl-Cl, etc.

However, the covalent personality or we deserve to say purity that covalency decreases when there are heteronuclear molecules. For instance H-Cl, H-Br, and H-I. In heteronuclear molecules, atoms do not re-publishing electron (s) equally since of the difference in the electronegativity value.

Hence, HCl is no a true covalent compound as the chlorine atom will attract a shared pair the electrons towards itself owing to its greater electronegativity (3.16) 보다 the hydrogen atom (2.20).


Or we deserve to say that the H-Cl shortcut in the hydrogen chloride compound is a polar covalent bond. It method that the H-Cl link act together a dipole with a partial hopeful charge top top the hydrogen atom and also a partial an unfavorable charge on the chlorine atom.

It would be quite amazing if we deserve to calculate the partial charge on the atom. So, let us calculate the partial fee on the hydrogen and chlorine atom in hydrogen chloride.

The fee is characterized as the ratio of the dipole moment of the molecule (µ) and also the distance in between the two atoms (d) in a polar covalent bond. The formula for measurement of charge is together follows:

Q = μ/d

The dipole moment is measured in D (Debye) and the unit for the distance is m and also hence, the charge is measured in D/m or C (Coulomb).

The dipole moment of hydrogen chloride is 1.05 D and the distance between the hydrogen and also chlorine atom in the hydrogen chloride is 127.4 * 10-12 m.

1 D = 3.33 × 10−30 C. M

If us substitute the values in the over equation, the partial fee on the hydrogen atom comes the end to be 0.027 x 10-18 C.

There will certainly be equal however opposite charge on the chlorine atom i.e., – 0.027 x 10-18 C Therefore, the value of partial charge in hydrogen chloride compound is ±0. 027 x 10−18 C.

Our next step would be to estimate the percent of electrons moved from the hydrogen atom to the chlorine atom in hydrogen chloride, i m sorry is well-known Ionic character in the covalent bond.

As we recognize the charge on one electron is 1. 6022 × 10−19 C.

Percentage the Ionic character = (Partial fee on the atom ∗ 100) / fee on one electron

= (0. 027 x 10−18 ∗ 100)/1. 6022 × 10−19 C

= 17 %

Hence, only 17 % electron density has been transferred from the hydrogen atom to the chlorine atom in the hydrogen chloride.

It confirms the the H-Cl bond in the hydrogen chloride is a polar covalent bond, not an ionic bond. The is another criterion because that distinguishing between Ionic and covalent bonds.

Hence, the hydrogen chloride molecule is a covalent compound through a 17 % ionic character.


In this article, we have studied the covalent nature of the hydrogen chloride compound.

In brief, hydrogen chloride is a covalent compound based upon the electronegativity difference between two atom of the HCl molecule. However, this covalent compound has some ionic character, i m sorry is calculate to be 17 %. It confirms the nature of the H-Cl link in the HCl molecule together a polar covalent bond.

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In conclusion, the hydrogen chloride molecule is a polar covalent compound having actually ±0.027 x 10−18 C partial charge through a 17% ionic character.