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Is it because the HCl bond is strong or it is because we have to form HCl at the product side during the propagation step?

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    $\begingroup$ HCl can't be used because it just won't chlorinate alkanes, no matter how hard you persuade it. Why would it, really? $\endgroup$ – Ivan Neretin Apr 14 '17 at 10:16
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$\ce{HCl}$ is not used in chlorination of any alkane as the bond between them is highly polar which dissociates to give $\ce{H+}$ and $\ce{Cl-}$ that will not be able to initiate the formation of free radicals in alkane. In this case $\ce{H+}$ will be released from the alkane as carbon is more electronegative than hydrogen. Chloride ion formed will again react with $\ce{H+}$ ion to form $\ce{HCl}$ as it will feel a replusion from carbon due to the lone pair. Hence no chlorination takes place so $\ce{HCl}$ is generally avoided.

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