Chemistry Formulas

Mercury (II) Sulfate Formula

Mercury(II) sulfate is the compound. It’s an odourless solid and forms white granules or crystalline powder. The Japanese chemical company Chisso began using mercury sulfate in 1932. It had been the catalyst for the assembly of acetaldehyde from acetylene and water. There were exposure and consumption of the mercury waste products in Minamata bay. It includes methylmercury which is believed to be the reason for disease in Japan. During this chapter, we’ll discuss the mercury (II) sulfate formula, its properties, its uses, its health issues and preventive measures and its applications.

Mercury(II) Sulfate Formula

Mercury (II) sulfate is a toxic and corrosive compound of mercury. It is utilized in various chemical reactions, though mostly utilized in analytical chemistry. It appears as odourless white granules or crystalline powder. It’s denser than water. And it’s toxic by inhalation and by ingestion. The molar mass of it is 296.653 g/mol.

  • Chemical Mercury (II) Sulfate Formula = HgSO4
  • The simplified molecular-input line-entry system(SMILES) = [O-]S(=O)(=O)[O-].[Hg+2]

Chemical Properties

It readily hydrolyzes in water, separating into the yellow mercuric sub sulfate and vitriol giving the following reaction,

3HgSO4 + 2H2O → HgSO4·2HgO + 2H2SO4

When it is heated above 450 °C, it will cause it to decompose and  releases hazardous mercury vapours

HgSO4 → Hg + SO2 + O2

Physical Properties

It may be a dense white solid. It is soluble in concentrated mineral acids, like aqua fortis, vitriol. And it is insoluble in organic solvents. Therefore, it hydrolyzes in touch with water, forming yellow mercuric sub sulfate and vitriol. It decomposes when heated to 450 °C. Its density at standard conditions is 6.47 g/cm3.

Preparation of Mercury (II) Sulfate

Preparation of it is done with the reaction of hot concentrated sulfuric acid with elemental mercury

Hg + 2 H2SO4 → HgSO4 + SO2 + 2 H2O

The reaction of mercuric oxide with concentrated sulfuric acid gives mercury (II) sulfate. We must use conc. acid, to stop hydrolysis.

HgO + H2SO4 → HgSO4 + H2O

It is utilized in medicine, for gold and silver extraction, and to form other mercury compounds. The use of it is in the synthesis and removal of chloride ions in COD analysis.

Health Issues and Preventive Measures

Mercury (II) Sulfate Formula


Inhalation of HgSO4 may result in acute poisoning causing tightness within the chest. It may also result in difficulties breathing, coughing, and pain. Due to exposure of HgSO4 to the eyes, ulceration of cornea can occur. If we expose it to the skin it’s going to cause sensitization.

Exposure to mercury compounds will cause severe damage. Reaction with water releases vitriol, which is corrosive. The salt itself or as a solution is corrosive to several metals. It includes aluminium, copper, iron (most steels), lead, magnesium, zinc, etc. However, it is a suggestion by chemists to store it in closed bottles. And it should be far away from moisture, during a special cabinet for hazardous substances.

Solved Examples for Mercury (II) Sulfate Formula

Q] What’s Denigés’ reagent?

Solution – An acidic solution of mercury sulfate is Denigés’ reagent. The use of it is throughout the 20th century as a chemical analysis reagent. This reagent contains solution compounds that have tertiary alcohols that give a yellow or red precipitate.

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