My question is about the 40-50 g of ferric chloride. I’m wondering if the ferric(III)chloride isn't just changed to ferrous(II)chloride as soon as the HCl is introduced. I am thinking that the Ferric(III)chloride as a catalyst is even needed. If I am incorrect can someone help me understand the need for it.
Fe(III) to Fe(II) is a reduction process, therefore one needs a reducer to convert ferric chloride to ferrous chloride. HCl can act, sometimes, as an oxidizer but (almost) never as a reducer, and certainly not is this case. You should review general chemistry of redox processes and usage of Lewis acids as catalysts, thats my advice to you.