Is Cl2 a polar or nonpolar substance?

Chlorine, with the chemical formula Cl2, is a chemical compound. It is the second lightest of the halogens. It is a pale yellowish-green gas at ambient temperature. Many pupils may be unsure if Cl2 is polar or nonpolar. We shall explain it in this essay, as well as its qualities and applications.

Is Cl2 polar or nonpolar, then? Because of its linear symmetrical structure, Cl2 (Chlorine) is nonpolar in nature. It is made up of two chlorine atoms with equal electronegativity. As a result, the charge distribution on both atoms is equal, and the molecule has a zero dipole moment, making the chlorine molecule nonpolar.

Chlorine is a highly reactive gaseous element that exists at room temperature. It has a greenish-yellow texture.

This molecule has the highest electron affinity among the other elements and is a strong oxidising agent.

The Chlorine element is located in period 3 and group 17 of the periodic chart.

It is found in the earth’s crust as ionic chloride compounds due to its strong reactivity. Chlorine is the second most prevalent halogen in nature, after fluorine.

The electrolysis procedure is used to remove chlorine from brine in the commercial world. It was initially synthesised in 1630, but it was not recognised an essential element at the time.

When it comes to the chemical makeup of the chlorine molecule, it is made up of two chlorine atoms joined together by a covalent connection.

The molecular mass of this substance is computed as

2 * 35.45 (at mass of Cl) = 70.906 g/mol Mol. mass of Cl2 = 2 * 35.45 (at mass of Cl) = 70.906 g/mol

Because it is a diatomic molecule, the shape of the chlorine gas molecule is linear. Only linear bonds are possible between diatomic molecules.

The electronegative value of both atoms is the same. As a result, both atoms have the same number of bound electrons.

The chlorine atom has an electronegativity of 3.16.

There is no polarity throughout the molecule since both atoms have the same charge distribution.

What’s the Difference Between Polar and Nonpolar Molecules?

Interatomic forces such as covalent, ionic, hydrogen bond, and metallic bond hold the molecules together. Covalent and ionic bonding are the most powerful of them.

The polarity and nonpolarity of covalent bonds are determined by elements such as electronegativity, geometrical geometry, and the dipole moment of the entire molecule.

Polar Molecules: A polar molecule is defined as a molecule with a net dipole moment greater than zero. The charges on the atoms of these molecules are distributed unevenly.

If each atoms share a distinct fraction of charge, the covalent connection formed between them is said to be polar. H2O and NH3 are two examples of such molecules. You can learn about the cause for NH3’s polarity.

In a molecule, there are two poles: positive and negative.

Nonpolar Molecules: These are molecules with a dipole moment of zero. The charge distribution among the atoms in such molecules is uniform.

If the atoms have an equal fraction of charge, they unite covalently to form a nonpolar molecule. In such a molecule, there are no two poles.

CCl4, Br2 are examples of such compounds. You can look into the reason behind Br2’s non-polarity.

Cl2 is a nonpolar molecule for a reason.

Two chlorine atoms make up a chlorine gas molecule. Both atoms have similar electronegativity, which means they impact the bound pair of electrons in the same way.

The term “electronegativity” refers to an atom’s ability to attract a bound pair of electrons towards it.

Because chlorine is a diatomic molecule, it is coupled in a linear fashion.

As a result, both Cl atoms have the same amount of charge, resulting in no polarity shift.

It also turns out that its dipole moment is zero.

Check out the video for a better understanding.

Aspects that influence a molecule’s polarity

The term electronegativity is the most significant criterion for determining whether or not a molecule is polar.

When the electronegativity of two atoms forming a covalent connection differs, the bond tends to be polar.

They have an unequal share of the charge due to the difference in electronegativity of both atoms.

The dipole moment of a molecule is a measurement of its polarity. The dipole moment is exactly proportional to a molecule’s polarity.

The product of charges and distance between them determines a molecule’s dipole moment. It is a vector quantity, meaning it has both magnitude and direction.

Q * R = D

Geometrical Form: A molecule’s shape also determines whether it is polar or nonpolar.

The molecules that have a symmetrical shape are nonpolar, but the molecules that have an asymmetrical structure are polar.

It’s important to remember that a nonpolar molecule can have polar bonds inside it, but the polarity of those bonds cancels out due to the symmetry of the molecule’s structure.

Cl2’s Characteristics

At room temperature, chlorine gas is a pale yellowish-green gas.

It has a smothering odour about it.

It’s a gas with a lot of reactivity.

Cl2 has a molecular mass of 35.453 g.mol-1.

This gas has a density of 3.21*10 -3 -3 at 20 degrees Celsius, which is two and a half times that of air.

It dissolves quickly in water. As a result, it’s combined into water for chlorination.

Chlorine has a melting point of -101°C and a boiling point of -34.6°C.

Chlorine has a standard potential of − 1.36 V.

1255.7 kJ.mol -1 is its first ionisation value.

Cl2’s Applications

It is mostly used in the chlorination process to treat drinking water. To disinfect the water and remove bacterial contaminants, local governments add the needed amount of chlorine.

It’s also utilised in the production of dyes, paper, and paints in the industry.

It’s also employed in the pharmaceutical industry to make medicines.

Antiseptics are made with it.

It’s also used in swimming pools to sterilise the water.


Two chlorine atoms make up the chlorine molecule, which is a diatomic molecule. The electronegativity of both atoms is the same. It implies that both bear an equal part of the financial burden.

As a result, the nonpolar molecule generated by two chlorine atoms.

So, if you have any questions about Cl2’s non-polarity, let me know. Please post your questions in the comments area. I will definitely contact you as soon as feasible.

Read more: What is the difference between polar and nonpolar ethanol (C2H5OH)?

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.


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