ferrous chloride is an industrially important chemical, used in a number of applications such as the production of pigments and plating agents. It is also a key ingredient in the manufacture of ferro-chrome, a steel making process. It is a highly toxic, corrosive, and acidic compound. When exposed to skin, it causes severe burns and can cause death. Ferric chloride is also harmful if inhaled, and can damage the respiratory system and cause dermatitis.
It is available in a variety of forms, including powders and granules, and in high purity, ultra-pure, and submicron particle sizes. American Elements produces to many standard grades when applicable, including Mil Spec (military grade); ACS, Reagent and Technical Grade; Food, Agricultural and Pharmaceutical Grade; and USP and EP/BP (European Pharmacopoeia/British Pharmacopoeia) and follows applicable ASTM testing standards.
The most common method of preparing this compound is direct chlorination of dry iron by reacting it with dry chlorine gas in the presence of excess nitric acid, to give a light brown aqueous solution that smells like hydrochloric acid and is readily soluble in tetrahydrofuran. The solution is also sparingly soluble in nonpolar solvents such as benzene and hexane.
Chlorine is a member of the Group 17 (Block P, Period 3) elements and has the electron configuration [Ne]3s23p5. It is the second lightest halogen and the third most reactive halogen element. It is a yellow-green gas and has the lowest electronegativity and highest electron affinity of all halogens, which makes it the most powerful oxidizing agent of all the halogens.