Hydrogen Chloride

The compound hydrogen chloride has the formula HCl. At room temperature, it is a colorless gas, which forms white fumes of hydrochloric acid upon contact with atmospheric humidity. Hydrogen chloride gas and hydrochloric acid are important in technology and industry.
Because of its acidic nature, hydrogen chloride is a corrosive gas, particularly in the presence of any moisture. Inhalation of the fumes can cause coughing, choking, inflammation of the nose, throat, and in severe cases, pulmonary edema, circulatory system failure, and death. Skin contact can cause redness, pain, and severe skin burns.
Most hydrogen chloride is used in the production of hydrochloric acid. It is also an important reagent in other industrial chemical transformations, such as the hydrochlorination of rubber and production of vinyl and alkyl chlorides.
Hydrogen Chloride can be detected with an equallivant detector. Bare in mind that HCL is corrosive and therefore a polycarbonate housed detector is recommended. For the right instrument, use the instrument selector or contact one of our sales representatives.
Hydrogen Chloride Characteristics
Synonyms Anhydrous hydrochloric acid
CAS No. 1/1/7647
Chemical formula HCl
Vapour density 1.3 (air = 1)
Safe Work Australia ES TWA 5 ppm peak limitation
STEL ---
Flammable limits LEL ---
UEL ---
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Temperature classification ---
Chemical/physical properties Hydrogen chloride is colourless and non-flammable gas at room temperature. Although not corrosive by itself, hydrogen chloride dissolves readily in water and forms white fumes of highly corrosive hydrochloric acid aerosol on contact with atmospheric humidity.
It has a pungent, suffocating odour usually not detectable by smell below about 1 ppm.
Hazardous properties Hydrogen chloride is a strong irritant to the eyes, mucous membranes and skin. It is not thought to have any other toxic effects but exposure to high concentrations can lead to respiratory distress and pulmonary oedema.
Occurrence/Uses Hydrogen chloride is used widely in the chemical industry.
Detectors available Electrochemical (0 – 30 ppm)
Gas detector tube (0.4 – 1,200 ppm)
Colorimetric paper tape (0 – 15 ppm)
Suggested alarm levels Lo: 2 ppm
Hi: 5 ppm


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