Copper and Chlorine Gas Reaction | Cu + Cl2

When copper (Cu) metal piece is heated with chlorine gas, copper is oxidized to its highest oxidation state (+2) and chlorine gas is reduced to chloride ions. As the product, copper(II) chloride is given.

copper and chlorine gas reaction

Reaction of halogens and metals which have variable oxidation states

When metals which have variable oxidation numbers, react with halogens, those metals are oxidized to their higher oxidation state.

M + X2 → MXn

M is the metal which has variable oxidation numbers and X2 is the halogen. n is the highest oxidation number M metal can show. For copper this is +2 and for iron this is +3.

Copper is a metal which has variable oxidation numbers (+1 and +2). With reaction of chlorine, copper is oxidized to its maximum oxidation state, copper +2 ion. As the product, copper(II) chloride is given.

Chlorine reacts with copper and form copper(II) chloride (CuCl2 / Cupric chloride)

Cu + Cl2 = CuCl2

Cu + Cl2 → CuCl2

To happen the reaction, copper metal is heated. Copper is a red brown metal. Produced copper(II) chloride (CuCl2) is yellow colour in anhydrous state.

Chlorine is a pale green colour gas.

But, when CuCl2 dissolve in water, a blue colour solution is given.

solid and aqueous CuCl2 colour

How to prepare CuCl by the reaction of copper and chlorine?

In CuCl, copper is at its +1 oxidation state.

You learnt that, copper is oxidized to its +2 oxidation state when it reacts with chlorine. So we cannot prepare CuCl by this reaction directly. But we can reduce Cu2+ ion to Cu+ ion by a potassium iodide solution.

When potassium iodide is added to copper chloride solution, iodide ion is oxidized to iodine. With that, copper +2 ion is reduced to copper +1 ion by forming CuCl.

Cu + Cl2 → CuCl2

CuCl2 + KI → CuCl + I2 + KCl

CuCl is insoluble in water and form a white precipitate.

Have Questions?

What is the oxidation number of Copper atom when Copper reacts with Chlorine gas and gives CuCl2>

Copper is oxidized to +2 oxidation state from 0 oxidation state while Chlorine is reduced from 0 to -1.

Does Copper readily react with Chlorine gas as Sodium does?

Sodium is much more reactive metal than Copper. Therefore, Copper does not react with Chlorine gas as Sodium does. A heating source is required to initiate the reaction between Copper and Chlorine gas.

Does copper react with hydrogen chloride as copper reacts with chlorine gas?

Copper does not react with aqueous hydrogen chloride. Copper is located below hydrogen in electrochemical series and copper is not oxidized by dilute acids.

How electrons are transferred when chlorine reacts with copper?

Copper is a metal and it removes it's last shell electron to form cation. To form +2 cation of copper, two electrons are removed from an atom. Chlorine forms -1 anion, chloride ion, by taking one electron removed by copper atoms.

oxidation state of cl in cucl2

You know, copper can show two oxidation numbers, +1 or +2. In the chemical formula, there is two chloride anions which are joint with a copper cation. Chlorine belongs to halogen group series and their oxidation number is -1 when they form compounds with metals such as NaCl, MgCl2, CaBr2.

Chlorine can show oxidation numbers of -1, 0, +1, +3, +5 and +7. So, chlorine's only negative oxidation number od -1.

Related Tutorials