Detailed Product Description:
Chloroform, also known as trichloromethane (TCM) and methyl trichloride
is a member of a group of compounds known as trihalomethanes. It does not
undergo combustion in air, although it will burn when mixed with more
flammable substances. Chloroform has multiple uses as a reagent and a solvent.
Not to be confused with Dichloromethane (Methylene Chloride), CH2Cl2.
This is Reagent Grade material, ethanol-stabilized, minimum purity of 99%
Chloroform was first produced industrially by the reaction of acetone
(or ethanol) with sodium hypochlorite or calcium hypochlorite, known as
the haloform reaction. Today the haloform process is obsolete for the
production of ordinary chloroform. However, the haloform reaction can
occur inadvertently in domestic settings. Sodium hypochlorite solution
(chlorine bleach) mixed with common household liquids such as acetone,
butanone, ethanol, or isopropyl alcohol may produce some chloroform, in
addition to other compounds such as chloroacetone, or dichloroacetone.
The major use of chloroform today is in the production of the refrigerant,
commonly used in the air conditioning business. However, as the Montreal
Protocol takes effect, this use can be expected to decline as R-22 is replaced
by refrigerants that are less liable to result in ozone depletion. In addition, it
is used under research conditions to anesthetize mosquitoes for experiments,
most frequently for the study of malaria.
Use as a Solvent:
Chloroform is a common solvent because it is relatively unreactive, miscible
with most organic liquids, and conveniently volatile. Small amounts of
chloroform are used as a solvent in the pharmaceutical industry and for
producing dyes and pesticides. Chloroform is an effective solvent for alkaloids
in their base form and thus plant material is commonly extracted with chloroform
for pharmaceutical processing.
It can be used to bond pieces of acrylic plastic (also known under the trade names
Perspex and Plexiglas).
Reagent in organic synthesis
As a reagent, chloroform serves as a source of the dichlorocarbene CCl2 group.
It reacts with aqueous sodium hydroxide (usually in the presence of a phase
transfer catalyst) to produce dichlorocarbene, CCl2. This reagent effects
ortho-formylation of activated aromatic rings such as phenols, producing aryl
aldehydes in a reaction known as the Reimer-Tiemann reaction. Alternatively
the carbene can be trapped by an alkene to form a cyclopropane derivative.
As might be expected for an anesthetic, inhaling chloroform vapors depresses
the central nervous system. It is immediately dangerous to life and health at
approximately 500 ppm according to the United States National Institute for
Occupational Safety and Health. Breathing about 900 ppm for a short time
can cause dizziness, fatigue, and headache. Chronic chloroform exposure may
cause damage to the liver (where chloroform is metabolized to phosgene) and
to the kidneys, and some people develop sores when the skin is immersed in
The National Toxicology Program's eleventh report on carcinogens implicates
it as reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen, a designation equivalent
to International Agency for Research on Cancer class 2A. It has been most
readily associated with hepatocellular carcinoma. Caution is mandated during
its handling in order to minimize unnecessary exposure; safer alternatives, such
as dichloromethane (methylene chloride), have resulted in a substantial reduction
of its use as a solvent.
During prolonged storage, hazardous amounts of phosgene can accumulate in
the presence of oxygen and ultraviolet light. To prevent accidents, commercial
chloroform is stabilized with ethanol or amylene.
Click here to download MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet)
Comes packed in 250ml amber glass bottle. Also available in 500ml size.