Hydrochloric acid or Hydrogen chloride (HCL) is a two single covalent bond. It is comprised of one hydrogen and one chlorine atom. Both atoms participate in sharing one of their own electron from the outermost shell. This process of formation completes the valence electrons to their full capacity in the outermost shell.
It is interesting to note that Hydrogen belongs to the first group of metals with atomic number 1. However, its position is not fixed to date as it has a behaviour of metal as well as non-metal. With few elements, it reflects the properties of metal whereas with others it acts as a nonmetal.
Whereas chlorine gas itself green in color has the atomic number 17 belongs to Group 7 of the periodic table and carries non-metal properties.
why is Hydrogen chloride (HCl) covalent?
Here in this formation of hydrochloric acid, HCL both of the elements are acting as non-metal. They are ready to complete their octet thus want to achieve stable configuration like inert gases.
These elements fulfill their need of filling up the outermost electron shell with the nearest noble gas configuration. This means that hydrogen has the nearest noble gas helium whereas chlorine has the nearest inert gas configuration of argon.
You should remember that helium has the atomic number 2 and argon has the atomic number 18. If we look at the configuration carefully, Helium has a K shell having the maximum capacity of two electrons and already has 2 electrons. It is unable to accept any more electrons acting as an inert gas.
Similarly, argon is also gas and its configuration is 2,8,8. All three shells K, L, M are fully filled. It has no more space to add electrons or doesn’t want to leave electrons, known as inert. It means unable to accommodate other atoms formation of chemical bonding.
Hydrogen, as well as chlorine, also want to achieve this inert state because atoms always want to have minimum energy and maximum stability. This can be achieved if they have the outermost shell fully filled.
Being short of electrons in both cases, hydrogen as well chlorine both are ready to form a bond. Having non-metal behaviour of these both of the atoms thus only share electrons instead of losing and gaining. This covalent bond is totally unlike ionic. Both atoms have the property of high ionization energy as well as higher electron affinity.
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