Mercury(II) sulfate sample and original bottle.
| IUPAC name
| Other names
|Molar mass||296.653 g/mol|
|Appearance||White crystalline powder|
|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
Std enthalpy of
|Safety data sheet||Fischer Scientific|
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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.
- 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.