Hydrogen chloride is one of the most important compounds of chlorine. It occurs in traces in volcanic gases and is an important component of gastric juice of mammals. It can be synthesized either by direct combination of hydrogen and chlorine gas in presence of diffused light or by heating metallic chloride with concentrated sulphuric acid. In the laboratory, hydrogen chloride can be prepared by the action of concentrated sulphuric acid on sodium chloride. Hydrochloric acid is a solution of hydrogen chloride gas in water. Hydrogen chloride is a colourless gas with pungent and chocking odour. It is heavier than air and highly soluble in water. The great solubility of gas can be demonstrated by means of fountain experiment. Hydrogen chloride gas is neither combustible nor supporter of combustion. It is a strong monobasic acid that turns moist blue litmus red. Hydrogen chloride gas can react with bases, metals, metallic carbonates and bicarbonates, metallic sulphites, bi-sulphites, sulphides and nitrates. Conc. hydrochloric acid (3 parts by volume) when mixed with conc. nitric acid (1 part by volume) gives a mixture called aqua regia. Hydrogen chloride gas is used in the manufacture of several drugs, dyes, glucose etc. It is used in the preparation of aqua regia. In industry, hydrogen chloride is used to pickle steel. It is widely used in tanning and calico printing industry. There are several tests to identify the hydrogen chloride gas. The gas when reacts with silver nitrate solution gives a white precipitate of silver chloride. It also gives thick white fumes of ammonium chloride when a glass rod dipped in ammonia solution is held near the vapours of the acid. A green-yellow chlorine gas, chlorine is liberated when conc. hydrochloric acid is heated with manganese oxide.

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