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Iron III chloride Formula – Structure, Properties, Uses, Sample Questions

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  • Last Updated : 05 Aug, 2022
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Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe (Latin: from Ferrum) and atomic number 26. This is the first transition series in the periodic table and the metals belonging to group 8.

Chlorine (Cl), a chemical element, is the second lightest member of a halogen family, or Group 17 of the Periodic Table (Group VII a). Chlorine is a toxic, corrosive, greenish-yellow gas that irritates the eyes and airways. chlorine.

Iron (III) Chloride

Iron (III) Chloride or Ferric chloride refers to an inorganic compound and is a common compound with an oxidation state of +3. Furthermore, the anhydrous compound is a crystalline solid. The color also depends on the viewing angle, and the crystals appear dark green due to the reflected light but appear purplish red due to the transmitted light.

Structure of Iron (III) chloride


Preparation of Iron (III) chloride

  • The reaction between iron and chlorine leads to the formation of Iron (III) chloride.

2Fe + 3Cl2 ⇢  2FeCl3

  • Oxidation of ferrous chloride with chlorine also leads to the formation of Iron (III) chloride.

2FeCl2 + Cl2 ⇢  2FeCl3

  •  Oxidation of ferrous chloride with oxygen also leads to the formation of Iron (III) chloride.

4FeCl2 + O2 + 4HCl   ⇢   4FeCl3 + 2H2O

Physical Properties of Iron (III) chloride

  • Other Names:  Molysite, Ferric Chloride, Flores Martis.
  • Chemical Formula:  FeCl3.
  • Melting Point: 307.6 °C.
  • Boiling Point: 316 °C.
  • Molar Mass: 162.2 g/mol.
  • Density: 2.9 g/cm³.
  • Soluble in Water.

Chemical Properties of Iron (III) chloride

  • Reaction of ferric chloride with iron ((III)) oxide –

FeCl3 + Fe2O3 ⇢   3FeOCl

  • Reaction of ferric chloride with copper (I) chloride –

FeCl3 + CuCl  ⇢   FeCl2 + CuCl2

  • Reaction of ferric chloride with chlorobenzene to give ferrous chloride –

2FeCl3 + C6H5Cl  ⇢  2FeCl2 + C6H4Cl2 + HCl


  • Used in drinking water production and wastewater treatment.
  • Used as a catalyst for the reaction between chlorine and ethylene.
  • Used in energy storage systems.
  • Used as a desiccant in certain reactions Friedel craft Lewis acid Used in the laboratory as a (catalyst) reaction, chlorinated links of aromatic compounds.

Frequently Asked Questions on Iron (III) chloride

Question 1: Is FeCl3 ionic or molecular?


Iron ((III)) chloride is an ionic compound and its formula unit is FeCl3. This indicates that FeCl3 is the smallest repeating unit in the crystal lattice repeating structure of the compound. Ionic compounds are generally classified as being composed of both metallic and non-metallic compounds.

Question 2: Is FeCl3 electron deficient?


It has 8 valence electrons. You can add up to 10 electrons to get the [Kr] configuration. In FeCl3, three Cl atoms contribute three more valence electrons to produce a total of 11. Fe atoms can easily accept more electrons from electron pair donors.

Question 3: Why is FeCl3 acidic? 


An aqueous solution of FeCl3 salt hydrolyzes to form HCl. This strong acid releases H+ ions into the solution. Therefore, the resulting solution is acidic and turns blue, and litmus turns red.

Question 4: Is ferric chloride hydrolyzed?


Hydrolysis of ferric chloride is a cationic reaction between salt and water. Ferric chloride, which is a salt, is formed by a weak base (ferric hydroxide Fe (OH)3) and a strong acid (hydrochloric acid HCl), so it can be cationically hydrolyzed.

Question 5: What is ferric chloride used for?  


It is used in the production of sewage treatment, industrial waste, water purification, circuit board engraving etchants, and other chemicals. The ferric chloride solution appears as a colorless to light brown aqueous solution with a faint odor of hydrochloric acid.

Question 6: What is the danger of ferric chloride? 


Can irritate the skin and cause burns. If swallowed: may cause inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. It can cause severe irritation to the mouth, and throat, low blood pressure, tachycardia, skin discoloration, and coma.

Question 7: Is ferric chloride flammable?  


Ferric chloride reacts with most metals to produce flammable, potentially explosive hydrogen gas. Potential risk of fire and explosion due to contact with metal from hydrogen gas.

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