Lead(II) chloride

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Lead(II) chloride
Lead(II) chloride.jpg
Cotunnite structure.png
The crystal structure of PbCl2, in the unconventional crystallographic setting Pnam. This corresponds to the standard Pnma setting by switching the labels on the b and c axes.
IUPAC names
Lead(II) chloride
Lead dichloride
Other names
Plumbous chloride
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.028.950 OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
EC Number
  • 231-845-5
PubChem CID
  • InChI=1S/2ClH.Pb/h2*1H;/q;;+2/p-2 Yes check.svgY
  • Cl[Pb]Cl
Molar mass 278.10 g/mol
Appearancewhite odorless solid
Density 5.85 g/cm3
Melting point 501 °C (934 °F; 774 K)
Boiling point 950 °C (1,740 °F; 1,220 K)
0.99 g/100 mL (20 °C) [1]
1.7×10−5 (20 °C)
Solubility slightly soluble in dilute HCl, ammonia;
insoluble in alcohol

Soluble in hot water as well as in presence of alkali hydroxide


Soluble in concentrated HCl (>6M)

73.8·10−6 cm3/mol
2.199 [2]
Structure [3]
Orthorhombic, oP12
Pnma (No. 62)
a = 762.040 pm, b = 453.420 pm, c = 904.520 pm
Std molar
135.98 JK−1mol−1
-359.41 kJ/mol
Hazards [4]
GHS labelling:
GHS-pictogram-exclam.svg GHS-pictogram-silhouette.svg GHS-pictogram-pollu.svg
H302, H332, H351, H360, H372, H410
P201, P261, P273, P304+P340, P308+P313, P312, P391
NFPA 704 (fire diamond)
NFPA 704.svgHealth 3: Short exposure could cause serious temporary or residual injury. E.g. chlorine gasFlammability 0: Will not burn. E.g. waterInstability 0: Normally stable, even under fire exposure conditions, and is not reactive with water. E.g. liquid nitrogenSpecial hazards (white): no code
Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):
140 mg/kg (guinea pig, oral) [5]
Related compounds
Other anions
Lead(II) fluoride
Lead(II) bromide
Lead(II) iodide
Other cations
Lead(IV) chloride
Tin(II) chloride
Germanium(II) chloride
Related compounds
Thallium(I) chloride
Bismuth chloride
Supplementary data page
Lead(II) chloride (data page)
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Lead(II) chloride (PbCl2) is an inorganic compound which is a white solid under ambient conditions. It is poorly soluble in water. Lead(II) chloride is one of the most important lead-based reagents. It also occurs naturally in the form of the mineral cotunnite.

Structure and properties

In solid PbCl2, each lead ion is coordinated by nine chloride ions in a tricapped triangular prism formation — six lie at the vertices of a triangular prism and three lie beyond the centers of each rectangular prism face. The 9 chloride ions are not equidistant from the central lead atom, 7 lie at 280–309 pm and 2 at 370 pm. [6] PbCl2 forms white orthorhombic needles.

In the gas phase, PbCl2 molecules have a bent structure with the Cl–Pb–Cl angle being 98° and each Pb–-Cl bond distance being 2.44 Å. [7] Such PbCl2 is emitted from internal combustion engines that use ethylene chloride-tetraethyllead additives for antiknock purposes.

PbCl2 is sparingly soluble in water, solubility product Ksp = 1.7×10−5 at 20 °C. It is one of only 5 commonly water-insoluble chlorides, the other 4 being thallium(I) chloride, silver chloride (AgCl) with Ksp = 1.8×10−10, copper(I) chloride (CuCl) with Ksp = 1.72×10−7 and mercury(I) chloride (Hg2Cl2) with Ksp = 1.3×10−18. [8] [9]


Solid lead(II) chloride precipitates upon addition of aqueous chloride sources (HCl, NaCl, KCl) to aqueous solutions of lead(II) compounds, such as lead(II) nitrate and lead(II) acetate:

Pb(NO3)2 + 2 HCl → PbCl2(s) + 2 HNO3

It also forms by treatment of basic lead(II) compounds such as Lead(II) oxide and lead(II) carbonate.

Lead dioxide is reduced by chloride as follows:

PbO2 + 4 HCl → PbCl2(s) + Cl2 + 2 H2O

It also formed by the oxidation of lead metal by copper(II) chloride:

Pb + CuCl2 → PbCl2 + Cu

Or most straightforwardly by the action of chlorine gas on lead metal:

Pb + Cl2 → PbCl2


Addition of chloride ions to a suspension of PbCl2 gives rise to soluble complex ions. In these reactions the additional chloride (or other ligands) break up the chloride bridges that comprise the polymeric framework of solid PbCl2(s).

PbCl2(s) + Cl → [PbCl3](aq)
PbCl2(s) + 2 Cl → [PbCl4]2−(aq)

PbCl2 reacts with molten NaNO2 to give PbO:

PbCl2(l) + 3 NaNO2 → PbO + NaNO3 + 2 NO + 2 NaCl

PbCl2 is used in synthesis of lead(IV) chloride (PbCl4): Cl2 is bubbled through a saturated solution of PbCl2 in aqueous NH4Cl forming [NH4]2[PbCl6]. The latter is reacted with cold concentrated sulfuric acid (H2SO4) forming PbCl4 as an oil. [10]

Lead(II) chloride is the main precursor for organometallic derivatives of lead, such as plumbocenes. [11] The usual alkylating agents are employed, including Grignard reagents and organolithium compounds:

2 PbCl2 + 4 RLi → R4Pb + 4 LiCl + Pb
2 PbCl2 + 4 RMgBr → R4Pb + Pb + 4 MgBrCl
3 PbCl2 + 6 RMgBr → R3Pb-PbR3 + Pb + 6 MgBrCl [12]

These reactions produce derivatives that are more similar to organosilicon compounds, i.e. that Pb(II) tends to disproportionate upon alkylation.

PbCl2 can be used to produce PbO2 by treating it with sodium hypochlorite (NaClO), forming a reddish-brown precipitate of PbO2.



Like other soluble lead compounds, exposure to PbCl2 may cause lead poisoning.

Related Research Articles

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Iron(III) chloride describes the inorganic compounds with the formula FeCl3(H2O)x. Also called ferric chloride, these compounds are some of the most important and commonplace compounds of iron. They are available both in anhydrous and in hydrated forms which are both hygroscopic. They feature iron in its +3 oxidation state. The anhydrous derivative is a Lewis acid, while all forms are mild oxidizing agents. It is used as a water cleaner and as an etchant for metals.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Zinc chloride</span> Chemical compound

Zinc chloride is the name of inorganic chemical compounds with the formula ZnCl2·nH2O, with x ranging from 0 to 4.5, forming hydrates. Zinc chloride, anhydrous and its hydrates are colorless or white crystalline solids, and are highly soluble in water. Five hydrates of zinc chloride are known, as well as four forms of anhydrous zinc chloride. This salt is hygroscopic and even deliquescent. Zinc chloride finds wide application in textile processing, metallurgical fluxes, and chemical synthesis. No mineral with this chemical composition is known aside from the very rare mineral simonkolleite, Zn5(OH)8Cl2·H2O.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Titanium tetrachloride</span> Inorganic chemical compound

Titanium tetrachloride is the inorganic compound with the formula TiCl4. It is an important intermediate in the production of titanium metal and the pigment titanium dioxide. TiCl4 is a volatile liquid. Upon contact with humid air, it forms thick clouds of titanium dioxide and hydrochloric acid, a reaction that was formerly exploited for use in smoke machines. It is sometimes referred to as "tickle" or "tickle 4", as a phonetic representation of the symbols of its molecular formula.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Barium chloride</span> Chemical compound

Barium chloride is an inorganic compound with the formula BaCl2. It is one of the most common water-soluble salts of barium. Like most other water-soluble barium salts, it is a white powder, highly toxic, and imparts a yellow-green coloration to a flame. It is also hygroscopic, converting to the dihydrate BaCl2·2H2O, which are colourless crystals with a bitter salty taste. It has limited use in the laboratory and industry.

Neodymium(III) chloride or neodymium trichloride is a chemical compound of neodymium and chlorine with the formula NdCl3. This anhydrous compound is a mauve-colored solid that rapidly absorbs water on exposure to air to form a purple-colored hexahydrate, NdCl3·6H2O. Neodymium(III) chloride is produced from minerals monazite and bastnäsite using a complex multistage extraction process. The chloride has several important applications as an intermediate chemical for production of neodymium metal and neodymium-based lasers and optical fibers. Other applications include a catalyst in organic synthesis and in decomposition of waste water contamination, corrosion protection of aluminium and its alloys, and fluorescent labeling of organic molecules (DNA).

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Manganese(II) chloride</span> Chemical compound

Manganese(II) chloride is the dichloride salt of manganese, MnCl2. This inorganic chemical exists in the anhydrous form, as well as the dihydrate (MnCl2·2H2O) and tetrahydrate (MnCl2·4H2O), with the tetrahydrate being the most common form. Like many Mn(II) species, these salts are pink, with the paleness of the color being characteristic of transition metal complexes with high spin d5 configurations.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Single displacement reaction</span> Type of chemical reaction

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Copper(II) chloride</span> Chemical compound

Copper(II) chloride, also known as cupric chloride, is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula CuCl2. The monoclinic yellowish-brown anhydrous form slowly absorbs moisture to form the orthorhombic blue-green dihydrate CuCl2·2H2O, with two water molecules of hydration. It is industrially produced for use as a co-catalyst in the Wacker process.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nickel(II) chloride</span> Chemical compound

Nickel(II) chloride (or just nickel chloride) is the chemical compound NiCl2. The anhydrous salt is yellow, but the more familiar hydrate NiCl2·6H2O is green. Nickel(II) chloride, in various forms, is the most important source of nickel for chemical synthesis. The nickel chlorides are deliquescent, absorbing moisture from the air to form a solution. Nickel salts have been shown to be carcinogenic to the lungs and nasal passages in cases of long-term inhalation exposure.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cadmium chloride</span> Chemical compound

Cadmium chloride is a white crystalline compound of cadmium and chloride, with the formula CdCl2. This salt is a hygroscopic solid that is highly soluble in water and slightly soluble in alcohol. The crystal structure of cadmium chloride (described below), is a reference for describing other crystal structures. Also known are CdCl2•H2O and the hemipentahydrate CdCl2•2.5H2O.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tin(II) chloride</span> Chemical compound

Tin(II) chloride, also known as stannous chloride, is a white crystalline solid with the formula SnCl2. It forms a stable dihydrate, but aqueous solutions tend to undergo hydrolysis, particularly if hot. SnCl2 is widely used as a reducing agent (in acid solution), and in electrolytic baths for tin-plating. Tin(II) chloride should not be confused with the other chloride of tin; tin(IV) chloride or stannic chloride (SnCl4).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Caesium chloride</span> Chemical compound

Caesium chloride or cesium chloride is the inorganic compound with the formula CsCl. This colorless salt is an important source of caesium ions in a variety of niche applications. Its crystal structure forms a major structural type where each caesium ion is coordinated by 8 chloride ions. Caesium chloride dissolves in water. CsCl changes to NaCl structure on heating. Caesium chloride occurs naturally as impurities in carnallite, sylvite and kainite. Less than 20 tonnes of CsCl is produced annually worldwide, mostly from a caesium-bearing mineral pollucite.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Platinum(II) chloride</span> Chemical compound

Platinum(II) chloride is the chemical compound PtCl2. It is an important precursor used in the preparation of other platinum compounds. It exists in two crystalline forms, but the main properties are somewhat similar: dark brown, insoluble in water, diamagnetic, and odorless.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Platinum(IV) chloride</span> Chemical compound

Platinum(IV) chloride is the inorganic compound of platinum and chlorine with the empirical formula PtCl4. This brown solid features platinum in the 4+ oxidation state.

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Germanium dichloride</span> Chemical compound

Germanium dichloride is a chemical compound of germanium and chlorine with the formula GeCl2. It is a yellow solid. Germanium dichloride is an example of a compound featuring germanium in the +2 oxidation state.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Metal halides</span>

Metal halides are compounds between metals and halogens. Some, such as sodium chloride are ionic, while others are covalently bonded. A few metal halides are discrete molecules, such as uranium hexafluoride, but most adopt polymeric structures, such as palladium chloride.


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