Trichloroacetic Acid
Structural Formula Vector Image
Title: Trichloroacetic Acid
CAS Registry Number: 76-03-9
Additional Names: TCA
Molecular Formula: C2HCl3O2
Molecular Weight: 163.39
Percent Composition: C 14.70%, H 0.62%, Cl 65.10%, O 19.58%
Line Formula: CCl3COOH
Literature References: Prepd by oxidation of chloral hydrate with nitric acid: Parkes, Hollingshead, Chem. Ind. (London) 1954, 222. Manuf by chlorination of acetic acid: Eaker, US 2832803 (1958 to Monsanto). Toxicity study: G. W. Bailey, J. L. White, Residue Rev. 10, 97 (1965).
Properties: Very deliquesc crystals; slight characteristic odor. d461 1.629; mp 57-58°; bp 196-197°. Sol in 0.1 part water; very sol in alcohol, ether; dec by heating with caustic alkalies into chloroform and alkali carbonate. Its aq soln is very acid. pH of 0.1 molar aq soln 1.2. Keep tightly closed in a cool place. Storage of trichloroacetic acid solns in water of less than 30% strength is not recommended. Decompn products are chloroform, hydrochloric acid, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. LD50 orally in rats: 5000 mg/kg (Bailey, White).
Melting point: mp 57-58°
Boiling point: bp 196-197°
Density: d461 1.629
Toxicity data: LD50 orally in rats: 5000 mg/kg (Bailey, White)
Derivative Type: Ethyl ester
CAS Registry Number: 515-84-4
Additional Names: Ethyl trichloroacetate
Molecular Formula: C4H5Cl3O2
Molecular Weight: 191.44
Percent Composition: C 25.10%, H 2.63%, Cl 55.56%, O 16.71%
Properties: Clear liq; odor resembling menthol. d420 1.383. bp 168°. nD20 1.4507. Insol in water. Misc with alcohol, ether.
Boiling point: bp 168°
Index of refraction: nD20 1.4507
Density: d420 1.383
Derivative Type: Sodium salt
CAS Registry Number: 650-51-1
Additional Names: Sodium trichloroacetate
Trademarks: Konesta (Akzo); Varitox (M & B)
Molecular Formula: C2Cl3NaO2
Molecular Weight: 185.37
Percent Composition: C 12.96%, Cl 57.38%, Na 12.40%, O 17.26%
Properties: Yellow deliquesc powder, mp >300°. Soly in water at 25°: 1.2 kg/l. Sol in ethanol.
Melting point: mp >300°
CAUTION: Potential symptoms of overexposure are irritation of eyes, skin, nose, throat, respiratory system; cough, dyspnea, delayed pulmonary edema; eye and skin burns; dermatitis; salivation, vomiting, diarrhea. See NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards (DHHS/NIOSH 97-140, 1997) p 314.
Use: As a decalcifier and fixative in microscopy; also as a precipitant of protein. As herbicide.
Therap-Cat: Caustic.
Therap-Cat-Vet: Caustic, vesicant.

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