Trichloromethane, chloroform (CHCl₃)

Trichloromethane, chloroform (CHCl₃)

Also known as chloroform, used as a solvent in laboratories, earlier as an anesthetic.



trichloromethane, chloroform, alkyl halide, halogen containing organic compound, anesthesia, phosgene, substitution reaction, organic chemistry, molecule, chemistry

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Trichloromethane, chloroform CHCl₃


Molar mass: 119.39 g/mol

Melting point: -63.5 °C (-82.3 °F)

Boiling point: 61.7 °C (143.06 °F)

Density: 1.4800 g/cm³ (0.0535 lb/in³)

Heat of combustion: -373 kJ/mol


Trichloromethane, also known as chloroform, is a colorless, non-combustible liquid with a sweet odor. It does not dissolve well in water, but dissolves well in alcohol, ether, petrol and benzene. When stored for a longer period of time in the presence of oxygen and light it converts into phosgene and hydrochloric acid, so it is advisable to store it in brown bottles. It may cause burns and blisters on the skin. Breathing in its vapor over a longer period of time causes narcosis.

Occurrence and production

Chloroform is manufactured by chlorinating methane, or in a reaction of acetone or ethanol with chloride of lime or sodium hypochlorite.


In organic chemistry it is used as a solvent of oils, resins, and caoutchouc and as a starting compound in the production of fluorinated and chlorinated hydrocarbons. Formerly it was used as an anesthetic.

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Carbon tetrachloride (CCl₄)

Colorless, toxic liquid with a sweet odor.

Chlorination of methane by a substitution reaction

During the substitution reaction the hydrogen atoms of methane are substituted with chlorine atoms, the by-product is hydrogen chloride.

Dichloromethane (CH₂Cl₂)

It is produced by treating methane with chlorine gas and used as a solvent.

Chloromethane (methyl-chloride) (CH₃Cl)

Chloromethane can be prepared by heating a mixture of methane and chlorine.

Methane (CH₄)

The first member in the homologous series of alkanes.

Chlorine (Cl₂)

A yellow-green toxic gas with a strong odor, one of the halogens.

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