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I kinda feel weird for this type of question. When primary OH (alcohol) is converted with HCl (with ZnCl2), how did the free Cl-ion come from? If, it is came from HCl, since when we get rid of the H from HCl? enter image description here enter image description here

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Though the Lucas' reagent is a solution of concentrated $\ce{HCl}$ and $\ce{ZnCl2}$, it still is an aqueous solution containing $\ce{Cl^-}$, because

  • as a strong acid, practically all $\ce{HCl}$ in the aqueous phase dissociated *
  • $\ce{ZnCl2}$ is well water soluble

* One can purchase solutions of HCl in organic solvents which (depending of the solvent) may prohibit the dissociation. An example of such a "dry solution" is $\ce{HCl}$ in diethyl ether (entry at Sigma).

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