37 Iodine Monochloride Uses: Facts You Should Know!

Iodine Monochloride is known as an interhalogen compound with the molecular formula ICl. It is a red-brown polymorphs compound (α and β-ICl). Let us have a look at the uses of ICl.

Now a days Iodine monochloride has many commercial uses –

  • Industrial field
  • Nano-technology and Electrical uses
  • Research field
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Green Oxidant
  • Aerospace Research
  • Pharmacology and Biochemistry
  • Determination of Iodine number

In this article, let us focus on the applications, reactions, and uses of ICl in different fields in detail.

Industrial field

  • Today ICl is used as a disinfectant in various industries and laboratories.
  • ICl is applied as a non-aqueous solvent in various fields.
  • Commercially ICl is mainly used for printing inks and dyes.
  • For animal feed supplements, various ICl salts are used.
  • Liquid ICl is applied as a photographic chemical.
  • Iodine monochloride is applied to make polarising filters for LCD displays.

Nano-technology and Electrical uses

  • Iodine monochloride as a powerful element of electrical conductivity of carbon nanotube wires.
  • Single-, double- and multi-wall CNTs were treated with a polar interhalogen compound, ICl.
  • ICl is applied for manufacturing highly conductive wires, like an ICl-doped CNT-based USB cable.

Research field

  • Iodine monochloride (ICl)is employed as a reagent in the following organic reactions: 1.Halogenation of methoxy and dimethoxybenzenes, 2.Synthesis of flavones, 3.Preparation of 1-naphthaldehydes.
  • It may be used as an iodinating agent in the conversion of alkylboranes to alkyl iodides.
  • Iodination of Arenes / Alkenes / Alkynes are done using Iodine monochloride.
  • Cyclization reactions and Carbonyl Olefin metathesis reactions are mediated by Iodine Monochloride.
Iodination of arenes
cyclization reactions by ICl
  • Chlorination of group 5 elements was utilized by Iodine monochloride.
  • ICl represents an efficient way to introduce iodine in unsaturated carbohydrates.
  • Iodine monochloride is primarily used in the activation of thio-glycoside donors and as a glycosylation promoter.
  • ICl has been used in a reaction with substituted cyclopropanes to give mixtures of the ring-opened products.
  • Even though ICl is regarded as more of an iodinating than chlorinating reagent.
  • Treatment of polycyclic aromatic derivatives with ICl  gave the chloro- derivatives in good yields.
  • Iodine monochloride plays an essential role in the oxidation of elemental mercury.
  • Iodine monochloride is a lewis acid that forms 1:1  adducts with Lewis bases such as dimethylacetamide and benzene.
  • Synthesis of 1-naphthaldehydes via the cascade reactions of 1-phenylpent-4-yn-2-ols promoted by iodine monochloride.

Analytical Chemistry

  • ICl is used in analytical chemistry as a topical antimicrobial agent.
  •  Iodine monochloride indicates the End-Point in many volumetric analysis, such as the titration of Thallous salts with Permanganate, Iodate, and Ceric Sulfate.
  • ICl is applied as an end-point indicator in the titration of arsenious acid with permanganate and with ceric sulfate.

Green oxidant

  • Iodine monochloride (ICl) was generally used to be a highly efficient green oxidant.
  • ICl, as a green, metal-free oxidant, is reacted in mild reaction conditions, with a short reaction time and good yield.
  • ICl is a green oxidizing agent which participates in the following organic transformations: 1. From aldose hemiacetals to the corresponding aldose lactones 2. From diarylmethanols to the corresponding diarylmethanones 3. From arylalkylmethanols to the corresponding arylalkylmethanones 4. From dialkylmethanols to the corresponding dialkylmethanones.

Aerospace Research

  •  Recently a satellite has been successfully powered by iodine monochloride as an iodine source for the first time.
  • Iodine Monochloride as an iodine source performed better than the traditional fuel xenon, highlighting the iodine’s potential utility for future space missions.
  • Iodine Monochloride is much cheaper, and it can be stored as an unpressurized solid, which suggests that it has the potential to simplify satellite designs.

Pharmacology and Biochemistry

  • Iodine monochloride has the ability to penetrate bacterial cells & accum in cell walls & protoplasts.
  • ICl is used as a reagent in the determination of pyretrins.
  • Protection by substrates and alpha-lactalbumin against the inactivation of galactosyltransferase is governed by iodine monochloride.
  • In particular, iodination of the C-terminal half-molecule domain by the solid-phase reagent, Iodogen, resulted in half the binding found when ICl was used.
  •  The iodinated N-terminal half-molecule part labeled by either Iodogen or ICl showed consistently higher binding than was observed with the C-terminal half-molecule.

Determination of Iodine number

  • Generally, Iodine value determination has been the main use of this interhalogen compound for years.
  • In Wijs/ Hanuš method, iodine monochloride dissolved in acetic acid (Wijs solution), is used to determine the degree of unsaturation in fats, oils and waxes.


Over the last half-decade, routes towards accessing halogenated compounds of value such as bioactive pharmaceuticals, organic building blocks has been of interest to the synthetic community. Iodine monochloride (ICl), is relatively under employed in comparison to alternatives such as molecular iodine.

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