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States/charges of mercury

  1. Mar 3, 2010 #1

    Please explain the states/charges of mercury for me.

    Is this right: There is Hg which is 2+ charge and there is Hg<sub>2</sub> which is also 2+ charged. One would never find the monatomic Hg alone is nature only as diatomic Hg<sub>2</sub> but Hg could be found as a single atom in a compound (any of which escape me at the moment).

    I compose this as I attempt a simple eqn.:
    2I + Hg2->Hg2I2

    Hg2 being diatomic is it always designated as (1)Hg2 ion or as 2Hg atoms in such an equation.....

    BTW Allergy medicine makes chemistry more challenging.......Achoo!....sniff...scratch etc...


  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 4, 2010 #2

    Char. Limit

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    Gold Member

    Re: Mercury!!!!!!!

    1. I believe that mercury, as a metal, can exist in monatomic (or as monatomic as any metallic lattice is) atoms, as well as in the two ionized forms you mentioned. However, it is true you will not find single Hg+ ions. They do tend to pair up.

    However, individual ions exist, usually, only in solution, and cannot be said to be "-atomic".

    You have the correct equation. Let me clean it up a bit.

    2 I-(aq) + Hg22+(aq) --> Hg2I2

    I believe... just checked, and the "higher" mercury ion is used, as mercuric acetate, to add water to an alkene in Markovnikov configuration. The mercury is apparently reduced to its metallic form over the course of the reaction.
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