Is CCl4 Polar or Non-Polar?

Carbon Tetrachloride (CCl4) is an organic molecule with a chemical formula of CCl4. It has a nice scent and is colourless. It is also harmful to the human body when it is in close contact with the body. CCl4’s characteristics will be thoroughly examined. Students in chemistry may be unsure if CCl4 is polar or non-polar. As a result, I’ll address both the question itself and some of the related issues in this essay.

Is CCl4 a polar or nonpolar ion, exactly? Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) is a nonpolar chemical. No matter how different Chlorine’s electronegativity is from that of Carbon’s, the four C-Cl bonds are nonetheless nonpolar in CCl4 due to the fact that each one cancels the other’s in a geometrical structure known as a tetrahedron.

CCl4 is known as Carbon Tetrachloride by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), and it is a liquid at room temperature. Detection is easy at lower concentrations because of the sweet odour it emits.

Henri Victor Regnault made the discovery in 1839.

One carbon atom is connected to each of the four chlorine atoms in the CCl4 molecule. Similarly, the four C-Cl bonds are all symmetrical and identical.

The polarity of a chemical compound is heavily influenced by the symmetry of the substance’s molecular structure.

Since Carbon and Chlorine have differing electronegativity values (C= 2.55, Cl= 3.16), this can be explained. Creating a polar covalent connection between C and CL.

As a result, the dipole moment values of all four C-Cl bonds are also present. However, the dipole moment of the C-Cl bond is cancelled by the opposite C-Cl bond due to the symmetry of all four bonds. CCl4 is thus classified as nonpolar because its dipole moment is zero.

The structure of CH4 (methane gas) and CCl4 (chlorine gas) are identical.

What is the difference between polar and nonpolar atoms?

Note that a molecule is said to be polar when it has a net dipole moment of 0. However, it is feasible for a nonpolar molecule to contain a polar bond of some sort.

However, C-CL has some value of dipole moment and polarity, but the net dipole moment of C-CL is zero, which makes CCl4 nonpolar in nature.

Polar molecules are those that have a net dipole moment that is at least a little positive. Geometrically, the molecules in question are also asymmetric. There are two types of chemical bonds: those that are non-polar and those that are more polar. Both atoms do not have equal access to the electrons.

The electron pair is somewhat pushed toward the more electronegative atom among the two atoms in such chemical bonds. These molecules become polar as a result of their asymmetrical geometry and differing electronegativity.

Nonpolar molecules are those that have a net dipole moment of zero. The geometrical structure is also symmetric in these molecules.

This bond is said to be polar when the charges are evenly distributed between the two atoms, implying that the electrons are divided equally between them.

Nonpolarity of CCl4 is why?

Since the CCl4 has a symmetrical tetrahedral geometrical structure, it is nonpolar in nature. C-CL bonds are polar in nature due to the difference in electronegativity between Carbon and Chlorine.

Thus, the dipole moment of the C-Cl bond is also present. CCl4 (Carbon Tetrachloride) is a nonpolar molecule because of its symmetrical structure, which cancels out the net dipole moment.

The following things influence a molecule’s polarity.

Compound polarity can be affected by various factors.

The electronegativity of two atoms in a chemical bond determines whether the link is considered polar or not. The greater the difference in electronegativity between two atoms, the greater the polarity of the connection formed by them.

However, due of its symmetrical structure, a molecule with an intramolecular polar link might also be nonpolar. When the polarity of the bonds was wiped out, the polarity of the bonds was neutralised.

The molecule with its symmetrical geometrical shape is nonpolar in nature. For symmetrical molecules, the net dipole moment is zero.

Dipole moment: Polar molecules have a net dipole moment, whereas nonpolar molecules have no dipole moment.

The CCl4’s Geometrical Structure

The four C-Cl bonds in tetrachloromethane have symmetrical orientations with respect to other C-Cl bonds. Carbon is the core element in this molecule, and it is linked together by four C-Cl bonds.

All four electrons in the carbon atom’s outermost shell participate in the formation of covalent connections with four chlorine atoms, leaving no lone pair on the carbon atom.

Bond angles in CCl4 are approximately 109.5 degrees, making it a tetrahedral molecule.

In the sp3 hybridization of Carbon, tetrachloride has one s and three p orbitals.

Repulsion between all non-bonding electrons in CCl4 results in a tetrahedral bond angle of 109.5 degrees and the formation of a tetrahedron.

CCl4’s hybridization with Lewis structure gives you a wealth of information on valence electrons and the Lewis structure.

CCl4 syntheses

Henri Victor Regnault, a French chemist, created tetrachloromethane in 1839. Reactions of chloroform and chlorine were used to make it.

Rather than using chlorine to make tetrachloromethane, methane is treated with the chemical. The response is as follows:

In this case, CH4 (Methane) + 4Cl2 (Chlorine) ———> CH4+4HCL (acid)

A method for producing carbon tetrachloride prior to the 1950s involved heating carbon disulfide to between 105 and 130 degrees Celsius and treating it with chlorine.

When you combine CS2 with 3Cl2 (chlorine), you get CS2. In the presence of CCl4 and S2Cl2,

CCl4’s Physicochemical Characteristics

Room temperature Carbon Tetrachloride is a gas.

It is a colourless, sweet-smelling liquid that can be found everywhere.

In order for Carbon Tetrachloride to melt, it must be at a temperature of -23 Celsius.

It reaches 76 degrees Celsius when it’s boiling.

Carbon Tetrachloride has a symmetrical tetrahedral geometry.

1.5867 g cm3 is the Carbon Tetrachloride density.

CCL4 dissolves in chloroform, ethanol, CS2, naphtha and benzene, among other solvents.

At 20 °C, the CCl4 vapour pressure is 11.94 kPa.

CCl4 possesses ozone-depleting qualities and is also categorised as a greenhouse gas. CCl4 is hazardous in nature.

CCl4’s Potential Applications

Tetra Chloromethane, due of its nonpolar nature, is a great solvent for many nonpolar compounds.

Chlorine-based organic molecules can be synthesised using this as a chlorine source.

Due to the CCl4 molecule’s lack of hydrogen atoms, it is a valuable tool in NMR spectroscopy as well.

Fire extinguishers make extensive use of tetrachloromethane, which works by putting out the flames.


Since the CCl4 molecule is tetrahedral, it is nonpolar in nature. Because of this, despite the C-Cl bond’s inherent polarity, the four bonds cancel out each other and form nonpolar C4Cl4.

That’s why I tried to cover Carbon Tetrachloride’s nonpolar nature in this piece of writing (CCl4). Please feel free to ask any questions you may have in the comments area below. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Read more: Is H2O (Water) a polar or nonpolar substance?

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Read More