Is KCl Polar or Nonpolar? [Quick overview]

Is KCl polar or nonpolar?

KCl is the molecular formula for potassium chloride. It is also known as potassium salt. This salt is composed of potassium and chlorine. Potassium chloride is odorless in nature and has white or colorless crystal like appearance. It is highly soluble in water ad has a salt like taste. Potassium chloride is used as a fertilizer in medicines and in food industries.

This bond consists of potassium and chlorine. It has a molecular mass of 74.555 g/mol and is calculated as below:

Molar mass of KCl = 1*35.453 (moll mass of chlorine) = 1*3.0983 (moll mass of potassium) = 74.5513 g/mol.

What are polar and nonpolar molecules?

In simple words polar means those oppositely charged whereas nonpolar means those equally charged. The distribution of electric charge around chemical groups molecules or atoms is known as polarity.

There are two types of molecules that are polar and nonpolar molecules. Some molecules can be easily separable whereas some show both characteristics of polar and nonpolar molecules which makes it tough to find where it actually falls.

Polar molecules

Polar molecules are those molecules that occur when there is an electronegativity difference between two bonded atoms. When the two atoms do not share electrons equally in a covalent bond polar molecules are formed.

A dipole is formed when the molecules carrying a slight positive charge and other carries a slight negative charge. This is usually formed when there is a difference between electronegativity values of each atom.

A dipole forms, with part of the molecule carrying a slight positive charge and the other part carrying a slight negative charge. This happens when there is a difference between the electronegativity values of each atom. An extreme difference forms an ionic bond, while a lesser difference forms a polar covalent bond.

By looking at the electronegativity on a table we can most likely figure what bond each atom is most likely to form. If the electronegativity difference is between 0.4 and 2.0 the atoms forms a polar covalent bond.

Hence, if the electronegativity is higher than 2.0 it becomes ionic bond.

Some examples of polar bonds are:

  • Ammonia – NH3
  • Water- H20
  • Ethanol- C2H6O
  • Sulfur dioxide- SO2
  • Hydrogen sulfide- H2S

Nonpolar molecules

In a nonpolar molecule there is no positive or negative charged poles cause when the molecules share electrons equally in a covalent bond there is no net electrical charge across the molecule. Those molecules are formed when the electrons are evenly distributed. When the molecules share electrons equally in a covalent bond the molecules do not get electrically charged.  When two atoms have the same or similar electronegativity nonpolar molecules are formed. Unlike poplar bonds nonpolar bonds share the electrons equally.

If the electronegativity difference between two atoms is less than 0.5 then the bond is considered to be nonpolar bond. Here the electrons get shared equally because the electronegativity difference between the two atoms is zero.

In a nonpolar covalent bond, the electrons are evenly distributed.

Some examples of nonpolar bonds:

  • Carbon dioxide- CO2
  • Benzene- C6H6
  • Methane- CH4
  • Ethylene- C2H4
  • Most organic compound

Why is KCl a polar molecule?

KCl is an ionic compound. The terms polar and nonpolar usually refers to the covalent compounds. Since the polarity of a covalent bond for a molecule is expressed in terms of its dipole moment a positive value of dipole moment refers to the polarity of the covalent bond while a zero dipole moment indicated the covalent bond being nonpolar.

KCl is a highly polar ionic compound because of the electronegativity difference being very high and due to the presence of oppositely charged ions in them.

Is KCl polar or nonpolar?

Electronegativity difference:

Electronegativity difference can be known as the property of a molecule to draw in sets of electrons towards itself from the sharing accomplice particle.

If the electronegativity difference between two atoms is between 0.5 to 2.0 it is considered as a polar bond between them and similarly the electronegativity value higher than 2.0 is considered ionic.

This bond consists of potassium and chlorine. Potassium having an electronegativity value of 0.8 and chlorine having an electronegativity value of 3.0 cases the electronegativity difference to be 2.2 causing this bond to be an ionic compound.

Lewis structure/molecular geometry

A KCl molecule is formed by one atom of potassium and one atom of chlorine.  The KCL molecule ion has a linear molecular geometry which is caused due to the center atom chlorine having one bond with the one potassium surrounding it. The KCL molecule has a linear geometry because it contains one potassium atom in the linear and 4 lone pairs of electrons on four corners.  As a result the KCl molecule forms to be a polar molecule due to its slight asymmetrical geometry

Dipole moment:

A dipole moment is a measurement of the separation of two opposite electrical charge. A molecule with two poles is known as dipole moment is a moment where there is a separation of charge. A dipole moment can occur between two ions is an ionic bond or between two atoms in a covalent bond.

In simple words two equal and opposite charges separated by certain distance constitutes a dipole. The product of the charge and distance between them is called the dipole moment. Dipole moments can help us to know the division of charges in a molecule.

The dipole moment of KCl is 3.336*1029 coulomb meter which indicates that this bod is highly polar molecule.

Solubility principle

According to the principle of solubility stating that likes dissolves in likes meaning that that polar molecules dissolves in polar solvents and nonpolar molecules dissolves in nonpolar solvent.


  • It has a molar mass of 74.5513 g/mol.
  • Melting point of 1040k and boiling point of 1690k.
  • Highly soluble in alcohol.
  • Achieved by heating the KCl with metallic sodium to a temp of 850c.


  • Used in the manufacture of potash.
  • Used as a salt substitute in food to reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
  • It is used to manufacture potassium metals.
  • Can be used as fire extinguisher.
  • Used in manufacture of soaps.


Ionic bond is known as an electro covalent bond. This is a type of linkage which is formed from the electrostatic attraction between oppositely charged ions in a chemical compound. An ionic bond is actually an extreme case of a polar covalent bond which later resulted from unequal sharing of electrons rather than complete electron transfer.

In short, the ions are so arranged that the positive and negative charges alternate and balance one another, the overall charge of the entire substance being zero.


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