Why is NaCl more ionic than MgCl2?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

I'm not sure that you could really call NaCl more ionic than MgCl2 since they are both purely ionic compounds composed of ionic bonds.  As a group one element, sodium ionizes more easily that magnesium (a group two element).  If you look at the ionization energies of the two atoms (the energy required to ionize one mole of a substance in the gaseous state), we see that the ionization energy of sodium is 496 kJ/mole while the first ionization energy of magnesium is 734 kJ/mole.  So sodium ionizes more readily that magnesium.  Since the anion is the same in both cases (chloride), this could mean that NaCl is more ionic that MgCl2.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial