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HCl, is it an ionic or covalent molecule?

Posted on January 21, 2010 at 7:28 AM

From Nicole today, she asked if HCl should be considered an ionic or covalent substance, should it possess ionic or covalent properties.


The answer is very simple, HCl is a simple covalent molecule. It is bonded covalently so it has the standard properties of simple covalent molecules.


This link http://www.gcsescience.com/Hydrogen-Chloride-Molecule.gif shows you the dot and cross structure of HCl. Furthermore, its made up of 2 non-metal atoms. All these evidences points to simple covalent properties.


However, HCl being an acid, will ionize in water producing hydrogen and chloride ions. Hence despite being a covalent molecule, it is able to conduct electricity in the aqueous state. Hence acids hold the distinction of having and being covalent properties in nature but still conduct electricity.


Information correct as of O levels, A level chemistry has a different story all together :)


Categories: Chemistry