|Molar mass||86.9054 g/mol|
|Melting point||−120.6 °C (−185.1 °F; 152.6 K)|
|Boiling point||2.0 °C (35.6 °F; 275.1 K)|
|very soluble, hydrolyses 143 g Cl2O per 100 g water|
|Solubility in other solvents||soluble in CCl4|
|Dipole moment||0.78 ± 0.08 D|
|265.9 J K−1 mol−1|
Std enthalpy of
|+80.3 kJ mol−1|
|Nitrous oxide, dibromine monoxide, water|
|Oxygen difluoride, chlorine dioxide|
Except where noted otherwise, data is given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
|what is: / ?)(|
Dichlorine monoxide, is an inorganic compound with the molecular formula Cl2O. It was first synthesised in 1834 by Antoine Jérôme Balard, who along with Gay-Lussac also determined its composition. In older literature it is often referred to as chlorine monoxide, which can be a source of confusion as that name now refers to the neutral species ClO.
At room temperature it exists as a brownish-yellow gas which is soluble in both water and organic solvents. Chemically, it is a member of the chlorine oxide family of compounds, as well as being the anhydride of hypochlorous acid. It is a strong oxidiser and chlorinating agent.
- 2 Cl2 + 2 HgO → HgCl2 + Cl2O
- 2 Cl2 + 2 Na2CO3 + H2O → Cl2O + 2 NaHCO3 + 2 NaCl
- 2 Cl2 + 2 NaHCO3 → Cl2O + 2 CO2 + 2 NaCl + H2O
This reaction can be performed in the absence of water but requires heating to 150-200°C; as dichlorine monoxide is unstable at these temperatures it must therefore be continuously removed to prevent thermal decomposition.
- 2 Cl2 + Na2CO3 → Cl2O + CO2 + 2 NaCl
- Ca(ClO)2 + CO2 → CaCO3 + Cl2O
The structure of dichlorine monoxide is similar to that of water and hypochlorous acid, with the molecule adopting a bent molecular geometry due to the lone pairs on the oxygen; resulting in C2V molecular symmetry. The bond angle is slightly larger than normal, likely due to steric repulsion between the bulky chlorine atoms.
Dichlorine monoxide is highly soluble in water, where it exists in an equilibrium with HOCl. The rate of hydrolysis is slow enough to allow the extraction of Cl2O with organic solvents such as CCl4, but the equilibrium constant ultimately favours the formation hypochlorous acid.
- 2 HOCl ⇌ Cl2O + H2O K (0 °C) = 3.55x10−3 dm3/mol
Despite this, it has been suggested that dichlorine monoxide may be the active species in the reactions of HOCl with olefins and aromatic compounds, as well as in the chlorination of drinking water.
With inorganic compounds
With organic compounds
Dichlorine monoxide is an effective chlorinating agent. It can be used for either the side-chain or ring chlorination of deactivated aromatic substrates. For activated aromatics such as phenols and aryl-ethers it primarily reacts to give ring halogenated products. It has been suggested that dichlorine monoxide may be the active species in the reactions of HOCl with olefins and aromatic compounds.
Dichlorine monoxide undergoes photodissociation, eventually forming O2 and Cl2. The process is primarily radical based, with flash photolysis showing radical hypochlorite (ClO·) to be a key intermediate.
- 2 Cl2O → 2 Cl2 + O2
Dichlorine monoxide is explosive, although there is a lack of modern research into this behaviour. Room temperature mixtures with oxygen could not be detonated by an electric spark until they contained at least 23.5% Cl2O. which is an exceedingly high minimum explosive limit. There are conflicting reports of it exploding on exposure to strong light. Heating above 120°C, or a rapid rate of heating at lower temperatures also apparently lead to explosions. Liquid dichlorine monoxide has been reported to be shock-sensitive.
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