A major industrial application for Basic Copper Chloride(WSDTY) is as a co-catalyst with palladium(II) chloride in the Wacker process. In this process, ethene (ethylene) is converted to ethanal (acetaldehyde) using water and air. During the reaction, PdCl2 is reduced to Pd, and the CuCl2 serves to re-oxidize this back to PdCl2. Air can then oxidize the resultant CuCl back to CuCl2, completing the cycle.
C2H4 + PdCl2 + H2O → CH3CHO + Pd + 2 HCl
Pd + 2 CuCl2 → 2 CuCl + PdCl2
4 CuCl + 4 HCl + O2 → 4 CuCl2 + 2 H2O
The overall process is:2 C2H4 + O2 → 2 CH3CHO.Copper(II) chloride is used as a catalyst in a variety of processes that produce chlorine by oxychlorination. The Deacon process takes place at about 400 to 450 °C in the presence of a copper chloride:4 HCl + O2 → 2 Cl2 + 2 H2O.Copper(II) chloride catalyzes the chlorination in the production of vinyl chloride and dichloroethane.
Copper(II) chloride is used in the Copper–chlorine cycle in which it splits steam into a copper oxygen compound and hydrogen chloride, and is later recovered in the cycle from the electrolysis of copper(I) chloride. Copper(II) chloride has some highly specialized applications in the synthesis of organic compounds. It effects chlorination of aromatic hydrocarbons- this is often performed in the presence of aluminium oxide.
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