- Tin(II) chloride
Tin(II) chloride Identifiers CAS number ,
UN number 3260 RTECS number XP8700000 (anhydrous)
Properties Molecular formula SnCl2 Molar mass 189.60 g/mol (anhydrous)
225.63 g/mol (dihydrate)
Appearance White crystalline solid Density 3.95 g/cm3 (anhydrous)
2.71 g/cm3 (dihydrate)
247 °C (anhydrous)
37 °C (dihydrate)
623 °C (896 K) (decomp.)
Solubility in water 83.9 g/100 ml (0 °C)
Hydrolyses in hot water
Solubility soluble in ethanol, acetone, ether
insoluble in xylene
Structure Crystal structure Layer structure
(chains of SnCl3 groups)
Trigonal pyramidal (anhydrous)
Dihydrate also three-coordinate
Molecular shape Bent (gas phase) Hazards MSDS External MSDS EU Index Not listed Main hazards Irritant, dangerous for aquatic organisms NFPA 704 Related compounds Other anions Tin(II) fluoride
Other cations Germanium dichloride
Supplementary data page Structure and
n, εr, etc. Thermodynamic
Solid, liquid, gas
Spectral data UV, IR, NMR, MS (what is: /?)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Tin(II) chloride (stannous chloride) is a white crystalline solid with the formula SnCl2. It forms a stable dihydrate, but aqueous solutions tend to undergo hydrolysis, particularly if hot. SnCl2 is widely used as a reducing agent (in acid solution), and in electrolytic baths for tin-plating. Tin(II) chloride should not be confused with the other chloride of tin; tin(IV) chloride or stannic chloride (SnCl4).
SnCl2 has a lone pair of electrons, such that the molecule in the gas phase is bent. In the solid state, crystalline SnCl2 forms chains linked via chloride bridges as shown. The dihydrate is also three-coordinate, with one water coordinated on to the tin, and a second water coordinated to the first. The main part of the molecule stacks into double layers in the crystal lattice, with the "second" water sandwiched between the layers.
Tin(II) chloride can dissolve in less than its own mass of water without apparent decomposition, but as the solution is diluted hydrolysis occurs to form an insoluble basic salt:
Therefore if clear solutions of tin(II) chloride are to be used, it must be dissolved in hydrochloric acid (typically of the same or greater molarity as the stannous chloride) to maintain the equilibrium towards the left-hand side (using Le Chatelier's principle). Solutions of SnCl2 are also unstable towards oxidation by the air:
- 6 SnCl2 (aq) + O2 (g) + 2 H2O (l) → 2 SnCl4 (aq) + 4 Sn(OH)Cl (s)
This can be prevented by storing the solution over lumps of tin metal.
- SnCl2 (aq) + 2 FeCl3 (aq) → SnCl4 (aq) + 2 FeCl2 (aq)
It also reduces copper(II) to copper(I).
Solutions of tin(II) chloride can also serve simply as a source of Sn2+ ions, which can form other tin(II) compounds via precipitation reactions. For example, reaction with sodium sulfide produces the brown/black tin(II) sulfide:
- SnCl2 (aq) + Na2S (aq) → SnS (s) + 2 NaCl (aq)
- SnCl2(aq) + 2 NaOH (aq) → SnO·H2O (s) + 2 NaCl (aq)
- SnO·H2O (s) + NaOH (aq) → NaSn(OH)3 (aq)
Anhydrous SnCl2 can be used to make a variety of interesting tin(II) compounds in non-aqueous solvents. For example, the lithium salt of 4-methyl-2,6-di-tert-butylphenol reacts with SnCl2 in THF to give the yellow linear two-coordinate compound Sn(OAr)2 (Ar = aryl).
- SnCl2 (aq) + CsCl (aq) → CsSnCl3 (aq)
Most of these complexes are pyramidal, and since complexes such as SnCl3 have a full octet, there is little tendency to add more than one ligand. The lone pair of electrons in such complexes is available for bonding, however, and therefore the complex itself can act as a Lewis base or ligand. This seen in the ferrocene-related product of the following reaction :
- SnCl2 + Fe(η5-C5H5)(CO)2HgCl → Fe(η5-C5H5)(CO)2SnCl3 + Hg
SnCl2 can be used to make a variety of such compounds containing metal-metal bonds. For example, the reaction with dicobalt octacarbonyl:
- SnCl2 + Co2(CO)8 → (CO)4Co-(SnCl2)-Co(CO)4
- Sn (s) + 2 HCl (aq) → SnCl2 (aq) + H2 (g)
A solution of tin(II) chloride containing a little hydrochloric acid is used for the tin-plating of steel, in order to make tin cans. An electric potential is applied, and tin metal is formed at the cathode via electrolysis.
It is used as a catalyst in the production of the plastic polylactic acid (PLA).
- Sn2+ (aq) + 2 Ag+ → Sn4+ (aq) + 2 Ag (s)
A related reduction was traditionally used as an analytical test for Hg2+(aq). For example, if SnCl2 is added dropwise into a solution of mercury(II) chloride, a white precipitate of mercury(I) chloride is first formed; as more SnCl2 is added this turns black as metallic mercury is formed. Stannous chloride can be used to test for the presence of gold compounds. SnCl2 turns bright purple in the presence of gold (see Purple of Cassius).
When mercury is analyzed using atomic absorption spectroscopy, a cold vapor method must be used, and tin (II) chloride is typically used as the reductant.
The Stephen reduction is less used today, because it has been mostly superseded by diisobutylaluminium hydride reduction.
- ^ J. M. Leger, J. Haines, A. Atouf (1996). "The high pressure behaviour of the cotunnite and post-cotunnite phases of PbCl2 and SnCl2". J. Phys. Chem. Solids 57 (1): 7–16. doi:10.1016/0022-3697(95)00060-7.
- ^ H. Nechamkin (1968). The Chemistry of the Elements. New York: McGraw-Hill.
- ^ B. Cetinkaya, I. Gumrukcu, M. F. Lappert, J. L. Atwood, R. D. Rogers and M. J. Zaworotko (1980). "Bivalent germanium, tin, and lead 2,6-di-tert-butylphenoxides and the crystal and molecular structures of M(OC6H2Me-4-But2-2,6)2 (M = Ge or Sn)". J. Am. Chem. Soc. 102 (6): 2088–2089. doi:10.1021/ja00526a054.
- ^ Williams, J. W. (1955), "β-Naphthaldehyde", Org. Synth., http://www.orgsyn.org/orgsyn/orgsyn/prepContent.asp?prep=cv3p0626 ; Coll. Vol. 3: 626
- ^ F. D. Bellamy and K. Ou (1984). "Selective reduction of aromatic nitro compounds with stannous chloride in non acidic and non aqueous medium". Tetrahedron Letters 25 (8): 839–842. doi:10.1016/S0040-4039(01)80041-1.
- ^ http://www.goldrefiningforum.com/phpBB3/
- N. N. Greenwood, A. Earnshaw, Chemistry of the Elements, 2nd ed., Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, UK, 1997.
- Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 71st edition, CRC Press, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1990.
- The Merck Index, 7th edition, Merck & Co, Rahway, New Jersey, USA, 1960.
- A. F. Wells, 'Structural Inorganic Chemistry, 5th ed., Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, 1984.
- J. March, Advanced Organic Chemistry, 4th ed., p. 723, Wiley, New York, 1992.
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