[Solved]- MgCl2 Ionic or Covalent Bond?


We all know that atoms combine either by transfer of electrons or by sharing electrons between the atoms. Atoms are held together in a molecule by a force of attraction known as a chemical bond. A chemical bond is a binding force between two or more atoms present in a molecule.

In this article, we cover

  1. Metal or nonmetal In Mgcl2
  2. MgCl2 Ionic or Covalent?
  3. Formation Of MgCl2 Bond
  4. Lewis Structure Of Magnesium Chloride
  5. Decomposition of MgCl2
  6. Electronegativity Difference in Mg and Cl.
  7. Polarity in MgCl2
  8. Uses Of Magnesium chloride
  9. FAQ’s

Metal or nonmetal In Mgcl2

Mgcl2 is a compound made up of magnesium and chlorine. Magnesium is a metal, while chlorine is a nonmetal. This means that Mgcl2 is an ionic compound, with the magnesium atoms donating electrons to the chlorine atoms.

The resulting ions are then held together by electrostatic forces. Ionic compounds tend to be soluble in water, and Mgcl2 is no exception. When it dissolves, it breaks up into magnesium ions and chloride ions. These ions are then free to move about in the solution.

In addition to being soluble in water, ionic compounds are also usually good conductors of electricity. This is because the ions are free to move about, and so can carry electric current. Mgcl2 is no exception to this rule and is a good conductor of electricity.

MgCl2 Ionic or Covalent Bond

MgCl2 is certainly an ionic bond. It is a bond that exists between a metal and a nonmetal. During the formation of magnesium chloride, two outermost electrons are transferred from the magnesium atom to the chlorine atoms. In this molecule, magnesium with atomic number 12 is metal whereas chlorine with atomic number 17 is a non-metal.

You should always remember, no matter which molecule is– either ionic or covalent, atoms always join together for a molecule to achieve stability with minimum energy. As both the atoms magnesium as well as chlorine want to achieve stability, so they join to become a molecule magnesium chloride MgCl2.

Stability of Mg and Cl atom

Atoms combine to form molecules so as to attain chemical stability. The maximum number of electrons present in the outermost orbit of a stable atom is 8 except Helium which has two electrons.

If an atom has 8 electrons in its outermost orbit, it acquires a stable structure and does not combine with the atoms of any other element.

Most of the atoms known to us have electrons less than 8 in number in their outermost shells. Therefore, they are chemically unstable, and so they tend to combine with other atoms to complete their octet and attain stability.

All the inert or noble gases, except helium have 8 electrons in their outermost orbits. This condition is called an octet. Only helium has 2 electrons which have only one orbit with a maximum capacity of 2 electrons. This condition is called duplet. Therefore, all inert gases are chemically stable and do not combine with the atoms of any other element.

Formation of MgCl2 Bond

Ionic Bond or Electrovalent bonds are formed when a transfer of electrons takes place between the atoms of metals and non-metals to form molecules.

Metallic atoms have electrons varying from 1 to 3 in their outermost shell, so they donate or lose these electrons to other atoms in order to become chemically stable by making their next complete inner shell their outermost shell. After donating their valence electrons, they are left with a greater number of protons and a lesser number of electrons.

Therefore the atoms no more remain neutral. They become positively charged.

On the other hand, non-metallic atoms have electrons varying from 4 to 7 in their outermost shell. So, they accept or gain electrons from other atoms in order to complete their outermost shell and become stable. After gaining electrons these atoms have an excess of electrons over protons, therefore they become negatively charged.

These charged atoms are called ions.

  • An atom that becomes charged by losing or gaining electrons is called an ion.
  • A positively charged ion is called a cation and a negatively charged or is called an anion.
  • A group of com carrying a charge is known as polyatomic lon.

The two oppositely charged ions are held together in the molecule by a strong electrostatic force of attraction which leads to the formation of an electrovalent bond. These ions balance each other and therefore the molecule as a whole remains neutral.

The chemical bond formed due to the complete transfer of electrons from one atom to another is called an electrovalent or ionic bond. The compounds formed by the ions are called ionic compounds.

Lewis Structure Of Magnesium Chloride

Before Proceeding to the lewis structure. You should always remember, The energy required to remove an electron from an atom is known as ionization and the energy required to accept electrons to complete the outermost shell is known as electron affinity energy.

The real purpose of the formation of the MgCl2 molecule is to achieve stability. If there is instability and high energy. then there is no chance of becoming a molecule.

We always need to use a very little amount of energy to expel atoms from the magnesium and very little energy to join them to the chlorine atom. Magnesium has very low ionization energy and chlorine has high electron affinity. So, it is easy to become a molecule by losing and gaining electrons

Stability is achieved when the outermost shell of an atom contains 8 atoms. In scientific language, it is called completing an octet.

Lewis Structure

Electronic configuration of Magnesium is K,L,M=2,8,2. The outermost electrons are two. In each atom of chlorine has seven outermost electrons as it needs one more electron to complete its outermost octet. Its electronic configuration is K,L,M= 2,8,7.


In MgCl2, there is one atom of magnesium and two atoms of chlorine. Magnesium gives two outermost electrons to two chlorine atoms.

Why MgCl2 Ionic bond

Thus, both magnesium and chlorine will final configuration with 8 electrons in the outermost shell. It becomes

  • Magnesium=k,l=2,8
  • Chlorine=ki LM=2,8,8

You can see the diagram below to understand the representation more accurately.

Now an atomic number is equal to the number of protons. Protons are positive charge and the atomic number of magnesium is 12. So, the number of protons is 12.

The number of electrons in magnesium becomes less as they give them to chlorine. Initially, before donating electrons, the number of electrons is equal to the number of protons.

Magnesium has now more protons. It means atom become a positive charge.

In the case of chlorine, its atomic number is 17 and the number of protons is also 17. After gaining electrons from the magnesium atom. The number of electrons is now more than the number of protons. The atom becomes negatively charged.

type of chemical bond is present in MgCl2?

Now, the magnesium atom becomes a positive charge whereas chlorine becomes negatively charged. Just as in the case of magnets positive and negative attract each other, this attraction is a strong electrostatic force that combines atoms together and makes it stronger than the covalent bond. This is how magnesium chloride is an ionic bond not a covalent.

Decomposition of MgCl2

The energy involved in the process of MgCl2 is quite interesting. When the magnesium chloride is heated, it decomposes into magnesium metal and chlorine gas. The energy required for this process is called the heat of decomposition.

The heat of decomposition is the amount of energy needed to break a chemical bond. In this case, the bonds between the magnesium and chlorine atoms are being broken. The heat of decomposition can be used to determine the strength of the bond between two atoms.

The stronger the bond, the more energy is required to break it. The heat of decomposition for MgCl2 is -848 kJ/mol. This means that it takes 848 kJ of energy to break one mole of MgCl2 bonds.

Electronegativity Difference in Mg and Cl

The electronegativity difference between magnesium and chlorine is 0.4 on the Pauling scale. This means that magnesium is more electronegative than chlorine. The electronegativity of an element is a measure of how strongly it attracts electrons to itself.

The higher the electronegativity of an element, the more it will pull electrons away from other atoms. The Pauling scale is a numerical scale used to measure electronegativity. It ranges from 0 to 4, with 4 being the most electronegative. On this scale, chlorine has an electronegativity of 3.0 and magnesium has an electronegativity of 2.6.

This difference is due to the fact that magnesium has a smaller atomic radius than chlorine. This means that the electrons in magnesium’s outermost orbital are held more tightly than the electrons in chlorine’s outermost orbital. As a result, magnesium is better able to attract and hold onto electrons than chlorine. This difference in electronegativity contributes to the differences in their chemical properties.

For example, magnesium is much less reactive than chlorine because it is less likely to lose its valence electrons. Electronegativity differences like these are responsible for the way elements interact with each other.

When it comes to magnesium chloride (MgCl2) is a salt compound that contains magnesium and chlorine atoms. The electronegativity of magnesium is 1.2, while the electronegativity of chlorine is 3.0. This means that the chlorine atoms will tend to pull electrons away from the magnesium atoms, resulting in a slightly negative charge on the chlorine atoms and a slightly positive charge on the magnesium atoms.

However, because both types of atoms are electrically neutral overall, MgCl2 is considered to be electrically neutral as well.

Polarity in MgCl2

MgCl2 is a polar molecule. This means that the Mg atom has a slightly positive charge and the two Cl atoms have slightly negative charges. The reason for this is that Mg is less electronegative than Cl, so the Mg atom takes on a slight positive charge. The difference in electronegativity between Mg and Cl also results in the bond between them being polar. The polarity of MgCl2 gives it several unique properties.

For instance, it is soluble in water, but not in oils. This is because water molecules are also polar, so they are attracted to the Mg and Cl atoms in MgCl2. In contrast, oil molecules are nonpolar, so they are not attracted to the atoms in MgCl2.

The polarity of MgCl2 also causes it to have a high melting and boiling point. This is because the polar molecules are attracted to each other and require more energy to break apart.

Uses Of Magnesium chloride

Magnesium chloride is a versatile mineral that has a number of different uses. It is often used as a de-icing agent, particularly on roads and sidewalks, as it is effective at lowering the freezing point of water. It can also be used as a food additive, and is sometimes added to cattle feed in order to improve the absorption of other minerals.

In industry, magnesium chloride is used in the production of textiles, paper, and fireproofing materials. It is also sometimes used in the treatment of sewage. As magnesium chloride is highly soluble in water, it is often used as a source of magnesium for agricultural purposes. When applied to soil, it can help to improve plant growth and increase crop yields.

Magnesium chloride can also be used in the manufacture of cosmetics and personal care products. For example, it is sometimes added to shampoo in order to improve its lathering properties. In addition, magnesium chloride is an ingredient in many types of antiperspirant and deodorant products.

FAQ’s – MgCl2 Ionic Or Covalent?

What is the proper name for MgCl2?

The proper IUPAC name for MgCl2 is magnesium dichloride. It is a compound in which magnesium atoms combine with two chlorine atoms to form an ionic bond.

Why is MgCl2 called magnesium chloride?

Magnesium chloride is recognized as a binary compound in which a metal is combined with a nonmetal. Magnesium act as a cation whereas two chlorine atoms act as an anion.

According to the rules to write the name of MgCl2, the metal name appears first Mg, then to write non-metal the chlorine. It becomes magnesium chlorine. On replacing the ending with ide, it becomes chloride.

Magnesium belongs to group 2 of the periodic table and has the outermost two electrons to donate. Each chlorine represents group 17 and requires one electron. This balance plus and minus of magnesium as well as chlorine so the name for magnesium chloride is MgCl2.

Why is MgCl2 a covalent character?

Magnesium chloride shows a covalent character due to the involvement of a high electronegative chlorine element present in it. Chlorine being highly electronegativity behavior of 3.16, strongly attract electrons nearby, shift nucleus closer than magnesium. Thus, highly covalent character generates polarity even after the formation of Bond.

Which is more covalent NaCl or MgCl2?

Both the ionic compound NaCl and MgCl2 have the same anion but different cation elements. Sodium belongs to group 1 of the periodic table whereas magnesium belongs to group 2.

As we move from left to right in a periodic table atomic size decreases. This justifies that size of magnesium is smaller than sodium. The smaller the size of the cation greater is the covalent character. Thus, magnesium chloride is more covalent than NaCl.

is mgCl2 ionic or molecular compound?

Mg chloride is an ionic compound, not a molecular or covalent compound.

Is MgCl2 stronger than NaCl?

The charge of magnesium is greater than sodium. Magnesium loses two-electron to gain stability whereas sodium loses only a single electron. This also means that magnesium becomes more positive as it has more protons than electrons comparatively. Therefore, magnesium chloride is stronger than NaCl.

Is MgCl2 acidic or basic?

NaCl dissolves in water to form a neutral solution with a pH value of 7 whereas magnesium chloride has a small degree of covalency and it undergoes partial hydrolysis in water to form a weakly acidic solution of approximate pH 6.5.

Why Magnesium chloride has no overall charge?

The MgCl2 is a neutral compound having overall no charge as positive charges are balanced by negative charges. Both of the atoms participate in bonding to complete the outermost octet.

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