Difference between revisions of "Mercury(II) sulfate"

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===Relevant Sciencemadness threads===
===Relevant Sciencemadness threads===
*[http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=13864 Mercury Sulfate and decomposition]
*[http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=13864 Mercury Sulfate and decomposition]
*[http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=71892 Hg(II)sulfate]
[[Category:Chemical compounds]]
[[Category:Chemical compounds]]

Revision as of 17:01, 25 January 2017

Mercury(II) sulfate bottle sample.jpg
Mercury(II) sulfate sample and original bottle.
IUPAC name
Mercury(II) sulfate
Other names
Mercuric sulfate
Mercury persulfate
Mercury bisulfate
Molar mass 296.653 g/mol
Appearance White crystalline powder
Odor Odorless
Density 6.47 g/cm3
Melting point 450 °C (842 °F; 723 K) (decomposes)
Boiling point Sublimes; decomposes
Decomposes to sulfuric acid and HgSO4·2HgO
Solubility Soluble in concentrated or hot H2SO4, hydrochloric acid, NaCl solution
Insoluble in acetone, ammonia, ethanol
−707.5 kJ/mol
Safety data sheet Fischer Scientific
Flash point Non-flammable
Related compounds
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Infobox references

Mercury(II) sulfate or mercuric sulfate, is the chemical compound HgSO4, used in various chemical reactions.



Mercury(II) sulfate readily hydrolyzes in water, separating into the yellow mercuric subsulfate and sulfuric acid:

3 HgSO4 + 2 H2O → HgSO4·2HgO + 2 H2SO4


Mercury(II) sulfate is a dense white solid, soluble in sulfuric acid, but insoluble in organic solvents. It decomposes when heated to 450 °C. Its density at standard conditions is 6.47 g/cm3.


Mercury(II) sulfate is sold by chemical suppliers. Due to its hazards, it's extremely difficult to acquire by the amateur chemist.


Mercury(II) sulfate can be prepared by reacting hot concentrated sulfuric acid with elemental mercury:

Hg + 2 H2SO4 → HgSO4 + SO2 + 2 H2O

It can also be made by reacting mercuric oxide with concentrated sulfuric acid.

HgO + H2SO4 → HgSO4 + H2O


  • Detect tertiary alcohols
  • Acetaldehyde synthesis from acetylene and water
  • Phthalic anhydride synthesis



HgSO4 is extremely toxic and its ingestion may be fatal. Reaction with water releases sulfuric acid, which is corrosive. The salt itself or as a solution is corrosive to many metals, such as aluminium, copper, iron (most steels), lead, magnesium, zinc, etc.


Mercury(II) sulfate should be stored in closed bottles, away from moisture, in a special cabinet.


Best to take it to hazardous waste disposal centers.


Relevant Sciencemadness threads