Is MgCl2 Covalent or Ionic?

Magnesium chloride has the formula MgCl2 and is a chemical substance. Ionic halides are formed when these salts are dissolved in water.

Magnesium chloride, in its anhydrous form, contains 25.5% of the mass of magnesium atoms. There is no problem extracting magnesium chloride in the hydrated form from saltwater. Magnesium metal’s primary precursor is Magnesium chloride in its anhydrous state.

Magnesium is a plentiful metal that is needed by a wide range of industries.

Anhydrous Magnesium Chloride has a molecular mass of 95.211g/mol. At 714 degrees Celsius, Magnesium Chloride appears to be an opaque, colourless crystalline solid.

The issue “Is MgCl2 Ionic or Covalent?” often arises while discussing Magnesium Chloride (MgCl2).

Is MgCl2 a covalent or an ionic compound? ionic compounds are characterised by the movement of electrons between the Mg and Cl atoms that make up MgCl2. Chlorine accepts one electron to make a chloride ion, which is an alkaline earth metal that loses two electrons to form magnesium cation. It is the electrostatic attraction between the oppositely charged cations and anions that results in the production of the ionic compound.

Please take a closer look at its causes.

Calcium Chloride Lewis Structure (CaCO3) (MgCl2)

The Lewis Structure of the MgCl2 molecule is critical to understanding the chemical interaction between Magnesium and Chlorine that results in the ionic connection.

This is also known as the electron dot structure, which is the most frequent name for the Lewis structure. Chemical bonding between atoms is depicted in Lewis Structure diagrams like this one.

When a molecule has only one pair of electrons, the Lewis structure can show a possible connection between those two electrons, as well.

The valence shell electrons in the molecules are depicted in this simplified diagrammatic structure. The electron configurations around a molecule’s atoms are represented by this diagram.

The electrons are portrayed by dots, while the bonding between the two or more atoms is depicted by lines. The octet rule is a useful tool for achieving the “optimal” electronic arrangement.

Now, we’ll talk about Magnesium Chloride’s Lewis Structure (MgCl2).

As an element with an atomic number of 12, magnesium may be found in Periodic table group 2 of the periodic table. Chlorine, on the other hand, has an atomic number of 17 and is in the 17th group of the Periodic Table.

There are two valence electrons in Magnesium (Mg) and seven valence electrons in Chlorine. As a result, we obtain the following total number of valence electrons from MgCl2.

Mg is equal to two times one.

7 + 2 = Cl

The sum of the valence electrons is equal to (21) + (72), or 16.

For an ionic compound to form, it must contain both metals and non-metals that can both take and give up electrons, resulting in the production of an anion.

Consequently, the ionic compound formed by magnesium and chlorine is an alkaline earth metal, as magnesium is an alkaline earth metal and chlorine is a halogen nonmetal.

The Octet Rule states that electrons must be transferred between atoms in order to maintain a stable state.

The Magnesium atom is situated in the middle of the Lewis Structure of Magnesium Chloride, with two Chlorine atoms on either side.

The valence electrons are now placed in each atom with the help of dots.

Each of the seven valence electrons in the two chlorine atoms is shared by the other two. Both of them have a single electron missing. It has two extra valence electrons in the outermost shell of magnesium.

There is an electrical configuration for the atom of magnesium (Mg) that can be summarised as follows:

Each chlorine atom’s electrical arrangement is as follows: 1s22s22p63s23p5

Each chlorine atom accepts an electron from the magnesium atom in exchange for one of its valence electrons.

As a result, we have the following electronic configuration:

Magnesium (Mg) has a 1s22s22p6 electrical arrangement.

Each Chlorine atom (Cl) has an electrical configuration of 1s22s22p63s23p6.

By losing two electrons, magnesium becomes a cation (Mg+2) and each Chlorine accepts one valence electron and given a -1 negative charge (Cl+1) (Cl-).

Magnesium chloride Lewis Structure in its most stable state (MgCl2).

An Ionic Bond is a type of chemical bond.

Electrovalent bonds are also known as ionic bonds.

The electrostatic attraction between two oppositely charged ions in a compound results in the formation of an ionic bond.

The electrons in the valence shell of one atom are transferred to the other atom to create an Ionic bond.

There is always an atom that loses or donates electrons to produce positively charged cations, and there is always another atom that accepts and gains electrons to form negatively charged anions because of this.

Ionic or electrovalent compounds, such as sodium chloride and magnesium chloride, are those that are created when two or more atoms form an ionic link.

Molecules generated by halogen nonmetals and alkaline earth metals are excellent illustrations of how an ionic compound is formed.

Ionic solids are formed by electrostatic forces that attract oppositely-charged ions and repel those with comparable charges. The result is that all positive and negative charges surround each other, and the same holds true for the oppositely-charged electrons.

The positive and negative charges are alternately deposited on the ions, resulting in an alignment that is perfectly balanced.

A chargeless material or compound results as a result.

What is a covalent bond, exactly?

When two or more atoms share an electron pair, they form what is known as a “covalent bond,” which is an interatomic coupling.

The binding is irreversible because it involves the attraction of two nuclei to one or more pairs of electrons simultaneously.

The term “bonding electrons” refers to the electrons that are sandwiched between the two nuclei. Covalent bonds typically form between atoms that are chemically similar.

When the electronegativity of two atoms differs only slightly, a covalent bond can form between them.

As a result, these atoms are unable to transport electrons from one atom to another because of a minor discrepancy in electronegativity.

Water, or H2O, is an example of a covalent compound.

Visit this page to learn more about CO2’s covalent nature.

Magnesium chloride is an ionic compound for what reason?

We now know what constitutes an Ionic compound from the discussion above.

The term “ionic compound” refers to a group of compounds that have formed by the interaction of ions.

When two or more atoms donate and absorb electrons from each other, they produce a compound known as an ionic compound, which is the result of this electron transfer.

Ionic compounds are generated when atoms gain or lose valence electrons. By exchanging electrons between atoms, an ionic or electrovalent compound is created.

The atomic number of magnesium, which is an alkaline earth metal, is twelve. The valence shells of this atom contain two electrons.

There are seven electrons in Chlorine’s “valence shell” due to its non-metal status, with an atomic number of 17.

The octet state, the most stable state for a chlorine atom, requires only one electron.

The MgCl2 molecule has two chlorine atoms and a Magnesium atom.

To become stable, magnesium must give up two of its electrons. The Magnesium atom can now contribute an electron to each of the Chlorine atoms by being positioned in the middle and flanked by two Chlorine atoms.

Magnesium is now a (+2) cation, while Chlorine is a (-1) anion as a result. MgCl2 is formed as a result of the electrostatic attraction between the two oppositely charged ions.

Polarity of MgCl2

When discussing the chemical bonding of a molecule, polarity is critical. The MgCl2 bond can be better understood using the Pauling electronegativity table.

Magnesium has an electronegativity of 1.31, while chlorine has a value of 3.16. There is a 1.85 electronegativity discrepancy between the two values.

When electronegativity increases between atoms, the chemical molecule takes on an ionic property.

Ionic compounds have electronegativity values greater than or equal to 1.7.

As a result, the molecule of Mg-Cl has a polar-ionic ionic link.


Finally, we can sum up our discussion by saying:

To form an ionic compound, one or more nuclei must exchange all of their electrons. A nonmetal and an alkaline metal are the most common pairings.

Ionic compounds are formed because Magnesium has two electrons in its valence shell, therefore it gives one to each of the Chlorine atoms in Magnesium Chloride. One electron is all that is needed for each of the two Chlorine atoms to be in the Octet state.

The Magnesium atom gives one electron to each Chlorine atom.

Chlorine gets negatively charged and Magnesium becomes positively charged through the exchange of valence electrons (-1).

Magnesium (Mg) has a final electrical structure of 1s22s22p6.

Each Chlorine atom (Cl) has an electrical configuration of 1s22s22p63s23p6.

The ionic character of a chemical molecule is enhanced when electronegativity increases.

Read more: The acidic or basic nature of baking soda’s pH is debatable.

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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