Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsChemistry · 1 year ago

If chlorine is a molecular element and found naturally as Cl2, why isn’t sodium chloride NaCl2?

14 Answers

  • D g
    Lv 7
    1 year ago

    Why have you not chosen an answer

    Cl2 is a molecule it has no unbounded electrons

    Na is an unbounded element..

    You would normally have Na bonded with something

    Bonding especially ionic bonds are basically stealing the lose electron in Cl -


    And putting it on the Na element because it wants one electron to be neutral

    That is the ultimate goal of molecules to be neutral

    The attraction of a lose ion that is very negative to a lose ion that is very positive is like that of a single electron to a single proton

    That is how ionic bond work

  • ?
    Lv 7
    1 year ago

    Because there is only one Cl atom in the sodium chloride molecule. If you look at a salt crystal, you know--table salt--(?), it is a perfect cube. It is very stable. And it tastes good.

  • don r
    Lv 7
    1 year ago

    valence. now read your textbook.

  • 1 year ago

    This is a case of competition for an electron. Chlorine by itself really "wants" another electron. When it faces another chlorine with the same "desire", neither wins, but both benefit some by sharing so we see Cl2. However, chlorine wins that battle, hands-down, when fighting sodium. The second chlorine from Cl2 is left out on its own and has to go find its own electron somewhere else.

    If you have metal Na, and you place it in Cl2 gas, there will be an instant where Cl2 collides with Na and makes a "NaCl2" but that reacts immediately and is gone. It is simply so unstable that it does not exist except instantaneously. You end up with NaCl, Cl (unpaired and unionized) and a lot of heat. that lone Cl will wander around until it collides with something that will happily give or share an electron. That tends to also happen pretty quickly.

    The second electron that sodium could give is not one that sodium will give up easily, so it doesn't, and so we don't get NaCl2 (Na2+ + 2 Cl-). There are some anions that can act as pairs (like S2 acting like S2 (2-) instead of 2 S2-, but those are also not generally favored for similar reasons. the S2 (2-) anion is only stable in a very narrow window of conditions. So we can get things like pyrite (FeS2) rather than pyrrhotite (FeS) but you won't see that with chlorine. Chlorine is just too powerful an electron attractor.

    It is an energy stability thing.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 1 year ago

    Sodium chloride contains one sodium ion and one chloride ion. The charge of a sodium ion is +1. The charge of a chloride ion is -1. To make a stable compound one sodium ion must be bonded to one chloride ion. Cl2 is a very unstable.

    The following information is from the website above. Because of its great reactivity, all chlorine in the Earth's crust is in the form of ionic chloride compounds, which includes table salt. The point is that the Cl2 molecule is to unstable to exist naturally on the earth. It is only made in chemistry laboratories. I hope this is helpful for you.

  • Huh
    Lv 6
    1 year ago

    Ionic compounds are most stable when the sum of their constituent ions is zero.

    "Na[+]" has a valence charge of +1, and "Cl[-]" has a valence charge of -1. NaCl has a combined charged of (+1) + (-1) = 0 = stable.

  • 1 year ago

    Cl₂ is stable

    NaCl₂ would then be unstable

    NaCl is stable.

    All has to do with the way electrons are shared between atoms.

    Chemistry is actually the study of how electrons are shared (the outer part of the atom)

    Physics (among other things) is the study of changing the nucleus (the inner part of the atom)

  • YKhan
    Lv 7
    1 year ago

    Cl2 is a molecule, and therefore it can be broken into its atomic constituents further (i.e. two Cl atoms), which then can be reformed into other molecules like NaCl.

    • pisgahchemist
      Lv 7
      1 year agoReport

      Except sodium chloride (aka "salt") is not a molecular substance. It does not exist as discrete "NaCl" molecules. It exists as a lattice of repeating sodium and chlorine atoms.

  • 1 year ago

    Chlorine atoms have a valence of -1, which is to say, that their outer shell is missing a single electron. In the molecule Cl2, the missing electron is taken care of by the sharing of an electron pair among two chlorine atoms.

    Sodium has exactly one "extra" electron in its outer shell, so it is a perfect match for a single chlorine atom to whom it donates a single electron.

  • 1 year ago

    NaCl2 wouldn’t balance out. Na is +1 which means it has 1 electron in its outer shell (3s1) while Cl is -1 since it has 5 electrons in its outer shell (3p5, 6 completes the p shell) and ready to accept an electron to fill its p shell. To form a balance equation, it must equal 0. +1 + (-1) = 0. NaCl2 is -1 (+1 + 2(-1)) = -1.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.