What is Copper (II) chloride?

CuCl2 is an inorganic compound with chemical name Copper (II) chloride. It is also called Cupric chloride, or Copper dichloride, or Cupric dichloride. Copper dichloride occurs naturally as an anhydrous mineral called tolbachite and dehydrated eriochalcite. Both are mostly obtained from fumaroles areas.

Cupric chloride, in its anhydrous form appears as a yellowish-brown powder whereas in its dihydrate form it appears as a green crystalline solid. It is corrosive to aluminum and the oxidation state of metal is +2. It is widely used in printing, dyeing, as a wood preservative and in fungicides.

Properties of Copper (II) chloride – CuCl2


Copper (II) chloride

Molecular weight of CuCl2

134.45 g/mol (anhydrous)

Density of Copper (II) chloride

3.386 g/cm3 (anhydrous)

Boiling point of Copper (II) chloride

993 °C

Melting point of Copper (II) chloride

498 °C

Copper (II) chloride structure – CuCl2

The exact mass and the monoisotopic mass of Cupric chloride is 132.867 g/mol. The number of hydrogen bond acceptors equals to zero and the number of hydrogen bond donors equals to zero. This compound is canonicalized and has one covalently bonded unit.

CuCl2 Uses (Copper (II) chloride)

  • Copper (II) chloride is used as deodorizing in petroleum industry.
  • Used as an oxidizing agent.
  • Used as a purifying agent.
  • Used as mordant in dyeing.
  • Used as disinfectant.
  • Used in water treatment.
  • Used in the manufacturing of agricultural chemicals.
  • Used as fixer in photography.
  • Used in laundry marking inks.
  • Used in electrotyping baths.

Production of Copper (II) chloride

Cupric dichloride is commercially obtained by chlorination of copper:

Cu + Cl2 + 2 H2O → CuCl2 (H2O)2

Health hazards:

Inhaling cupric dichloride causes sneezing and coughing. Swallowing it causes vomiting and pain. When liquid comes in contact with eyes and skin, it causes irritation in eyes and on the skin. It is non-combustible but when heated, it liberates irritating hydrogen chloride gas.