|Preferred IUPAC name
|Systematic IUPAC name
3D model (JSmol)
CompTox Dashboard (EPA)
|Appearance||Colorless or white crystals|
|Melting point||63 °C (145 °F; 336 K)|
|Boiling point||189.3 °C (372.7 °F; 462.4 K)|
|85.8 g/100mL (25 °C)|
|Solubility||Soluble in methanol, acetone, diethyl ether, benzene, chloroform, ethanol|
|Vapor pressure||0.22 hPa|
Refractive index (nD)
|1.4351 (55 °C)|
Heat capacity (C)
|144.02 J/K mol|
Std enthalpy of
|Main hazards||alkylating agent|
|Safety data sheet||External MSDS|
|GHS Signal word||Danger|
|H301, H311, H314, H331, H400|
|P260, P261, P264, P270, P271, P273, P280, P301+310, P301+330+331, P302+352, P303+361+353, P304+340, P305+351+338, P310, P311, P312, P321, P322, P330, P361, P363, P391, P403+233, P405, P501|
|NFPA 704 (fire diamond)|
|Flash point||126 °C (259 °F; 399 K)|
|470 °C (878 °F; 743 K)|
|Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):|
LD50 (median dose)
|165 mg/kg (mouse, oral)|
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
|what is ?)(|
Chloroacetic acid, industrially known as monochloroacetic acid (MCA), is the organochlorine compound with the formula ClCH2CO2H. This carboxylic acid is a useful building-block in organic synthesis. It is a colorless solid. Related compounds are dichloroacetic acid and trichloroacetic acid.
Chloroacetic acid was first prepared (in impure form) by the French chemist Félix LeBlanc (1813-1886) in 1843 by chlorinating acetic acid in the presence of sunlight, and in 1857 (in pure form) by the German chemist Reinhold Hoffmann (1831-1919) by refluxing glacial acetic acid in the presence of chlorine and sunlight, and then by the French chemist Charles Adolphe Wurtz by hydrolysis of chloroacetyl chloride (ClCH2COCl), also in 1857.
Chloroacetic acid is prepared industrially via two routes. The predominant method involves chlorination of acetic acid, with acetic anhydride as a catalyst. This route suffers from the production of dichloroacetic acid and trichloroacetic acid as impurities, which are difficult to separate by distillation.
The second method entails hydrolysis of trichloroethylene:
The hydrolysis is conducted at 130-140 °C in a concentrated (75%+) solution of sulfuric acid. This method produces a highly pure product, unlike the halogenation route. However, the significant quantities of HCl released have led to the increased popularity of the halogenation route. Approximately, 420,000,000 kg/y are produced globally.
Most reactions take advantage of the high reactivity of the C-Cl bond.
Chloroacetic acid is also used in the production of phenoxy herbicides by etherification with chlorophenols. In this way 2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxyacetic acid (MCPA), 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, and 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T) are produced. It is the precursor to the herbicide glyphosate and dimethoate. Chloroacetic acid is converted to chloroacetyl chloride, a precursor to adrenaline (epinephrine). Displacement of chloride by sulfide gives thioglycolic acid, which is used as a stabilizer in PVC and a component in some cosmetics.
It is classified as an extremely hazardous substance in the United States as defined in Section 302 of the U.S. Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (42 U.S.C. 11002), and is subject to strict reporting requirements by facilities which produce, store, or use it in significant quantities.