Chromium(II) chloride describes inorganic compounds with the formula CrCl2(H2O)n. The anhydrous solid is white when pure, however commercial samples are often grey or green; it is hygroscopic and readily dissolves in water to give bright blue air-sensitive solutions of the tetrahydrate Cr(H2O)4Cl2. Chromium(II) chloride has no commercial uses but is used on a laboratory-scale for the synthesis of other chromium complexes.
3D model (JSmol)
CompTox Dashboard (EPA)
|Molar mass||122.90 g·mol−1|
|Appearance||White to grey/green powder (anhydrous), very hygroscopic|
|Density||2.88 g/cm3 (24 °C)|
|Melting point|| 824 °C (1,515 °F; 1,097 K) |
51 °C (124 °F; 324 K)
|Boiling point|| 1,302 °C (2,376 °F; 1,575 K) |
|Solubility||Insoluble in alcohol, ether|
|Orthorhombic (deformed rutile, anhydrous), oP6|
|Pnnm, No. 58 (anhydrous)|
P21/c, No. 14 (tetrahydrate)
|2/m 2/m 2/m (anhydrous)|
a = 6.64 Å, b = 5.98 Å, c = 3.48 Å (anhydrous)
α = 90°, β = 90°, γ = 90°
|Octahedral (Cr2+, anhydrous)|
Heat capacity (C)
Std enthalpy of
Gibbs free energy (ΔfG˚)
|H302, H315, H319, H335|
|NFPA 704 (fire diamond)|
|Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):|
LD50 (median dose)
|1870 mg/kg (rats, oral)|
|Safety data sheet (SDS)||Oxford MSDS|
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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or by electrolysis.
Anhydrous CrCl2 is white however commercial samples are often grey or green. It crystallizes in the Pnnm space group, which is an orthorhombically distorted variant of the rutile structure; making it isostructural to calcium chloride. The Cr centres are octahedral, being distorted by the Jahn-Teller Effect.
The hydrated derivative, CrCl2(H2O)4, forms monoclinic crystals with the P21/c space group. The molecular geometry is approximately octahedral consisting of four short Cr—O bonds (2.078 Å) arranged in a square planar configuration and two longer Cr—Cl bonds (2.758 Å) in a trans configuration.
The reduction potential for Cr3+ + e− ⇄ Cr2+ is −0.41. Since the reduction potential of H+ to H2 in acidic conditions is +0.00, the chromous ion has sufficient potential to reduce acids to hydrogen, although this reaction does not occur without a catalyst.
Chromium(II) chloride is used as precursor to other inorganic and organometallic chromium complexes. Alkyl halides and nitroaromatics are reduced by CrCl2. The moderate electronegativity of chromium and the range of substrates that CrCl2 can accommodate make organochromium reagents very synthetically versatile. It is a reagent in the Nozaki-Hiyama-Kishi reaction, a useful method for preparing medium-size rings. It is also used in the Takai olefination to form vinyl iodides from aldehydes in the presence of iodoform.
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