23 Mercuric Chloride Uses : Facts You Should Know!

Mercury chloride (HgCl2) is white solid with molar mass of 271.52 g/mol. Let us focus on the different uses of Mercury chloride in this editorial.

Applications of mercury chloride in various fields are listed below.

  • Catalyst
  • Chemical reagent
  • Photography
  • Preservative
  • Leather tanning
  • Dip for bulb and tuber
  • Mercury battery
  • Micrography


  • Mercury chloride is used as a catalyst in acetylene and hydrochloric acid reaction.
  • Mercury chloride is a catalyst helping to process the reaction and for the conversion of acetylene to vinyl chloride.
  • HgCl2 increases the rate of reaction.
  • C2H2 + HCl ⟶ CH2 = CHCl.

Chemical reagent

  • Mercury chloride is used in the formation of amalgam when combined with metal such as aluminum. In the Barbier, reaction halocarbon reacts with amalgamated aluminum. For reducing organic synthesis, amalgamated aluminum is used as an agent.
  • In the Umpolung reaction, Mercury chloride is used to remove the dithiane group attached to a carbonyl group.
  • In some chemical analytical samples, Mercury chloride is used as a stabilizing agent. 


  • Mercury chloride is used as an intensifier in photography to produce positive images.
  • Mercury chloride thickens the image when applied to the negative.
  • Mercury chloride increases the opacity of shadows and thus gives the impression of a positive image. 


  • Mercury chloride is well known for its use as a preservative.
  • Earlier, to preserve various biological specimens, Mercury chloride was used where the specimen was dipped or it was painted with mercury chloride solution.
  • Sometimes objects were shielded by sprinkling crystalline mercury chloride.
  • Mercury chloride was used earlier in Europe and the United States of America for railroad tie wood.
  • Mercury chloride was used as a tanning agent and used earlier to soak the wood in mercury chloride solution.

Leather tanning

  • Mercury chloride is used as a preservative in the leather tanning process. HgCl2 prevents leather from becoming rotten and prevents it from putrefaction. HgCl2 makes the leather more durable, and it will become less susceptible to coloring.
  • Thus such leather can be used for making belts, bags, tools, footwear, clothing etc. 

Dip for bulb and tuber

  • In agriculture important thing is yield, so early induction and storage of organ size determine yield.
  • Mercury chloride is used as a dip solution for bulbs and tuber. The bulb represents the embryo of the new plant, so for proper production, it is important to prevent bulb and tuber rot.
  • The main role of mercury chloride dip is it increases the shelf life of bulb and tuber.

Mercury battery

  • Mercury chloride is used in making a battery. 
  • Mercury chloride is used in a small amount in Button cell batteries, which is used in small electronic devices such as a watch, digital thermometer, calculator and toys.
  • Mercury oxide batteries are used for their long life in the military.


  • Micrography is also called micro calligraphy. In Micrography, using a microscope or similar device, the digital image is taken. In this process ink is required to make a photograph; this ink is made using mercury chloride.
Uses of Mercury chloride


Mercury bichloride is the other name for mercury chloride. Mercury chloride has a melting point of 2760C and a boiling point of 3040C. The crystal structure of mercury chloride is orthogonal. Mercury chloride is soluble in acetone and ethyl acetate and slightly soluble in benzene. It shows zero dipole moment.