Aluminium chloride

From Sciencemadness Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Aluminium chloride
Aluminium chloride anhydrous in Schlenk tube.jpg
Anhydrous AlCl3 purified via sublimation under vacuum
IUPAC name
Aluminium chloride
Other names
Aluminium(III) chloride
Aluminum trichloride
Molar mass 133.341 g/mol (anhydrous)
241.432 g/mol (hexahydrate)
Appearance White hygroscopic solid
Density 2.48 g/cm3 (anhydrous)
2.398 g/cm3 (hexahydrate)
Melting point 192.6 °C (378.7 °F; 465.8 K) (anhydrous)
Boiling point 180 °C (356 °F; 453 K)
43.9 g/100 ml (0 °C)
44.9 g/100 ml (10 °C)
45.8 g/100 ml (20 °C)
46.6 g/100 ml (30 °C)
47.3 g/100 ml (40 °C)
48.1 g/100 ml (60 °C)
48.6 g/100 ml (80 °C)
49.0 g/100 ml (100 °C)
Solubility Soluble in carbon tetrachloride, chloroform, diethyl ether, dioxane, ethanol, hydrogen chloride, methanol, THF
Slightly soluble in benzene, toluene, xylene
Vapor pressure 133.3 Pa (99 °C)
13.3 kPa (151 °C)
109.3 J·mol-1·K-1
−704.2 kJ/mol
Safety data sheet Sigma-Aldrich (anhydrous)
Sigma-Aldrich (hexahydrate)
Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):
380 mg/kg (rat, oral)
3,311 mg/kg (rat, oral)
Related compounds
Related compounds
Boron trichloride
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Infobox references

Aluminium chloride, or aluminium trichloride, is a chemical compound of aluminium and chlorine, with the formula AlCl3.



Aluminium chloride has a high affinity for water. Hydrated aluminium chloride cannot be turned back anhydrous via heating heating as HCl is lost leaving aluminium hydroxide or alumina (aluminium oxide):

Al(H2O)6Cl3 → Al(OH)3 + 3 HCl + 3 H2O


Aluminium chloride is a white hygroscopic salt. It melts at 192.4 °C (anhydrous form). The hydrated form, which is much less useful as a reagent, appears as grainy, oily beads which are often yellow due to even the smallest of iron impurities.


Aluminium chloride, both anhydrous and hydrated can be purchased from chemical suppliers.

Hydrated aluminium chloride is available as aqueous solution in may pool stores.


Anhydrous aluminium chloride can be prepared by reacting aluminium metal with chlorine or hydrogen chloride gas in a water-free medium, at temperatures between 650 to 750 °C:

2 Al + 3 Cl2 → 2 AlCl3
2 Al + 6 HCl → 2 AlCl3 + 3 H2

The resulting AlCl3 vapors are condensed outside the reactor and then collected and stored in anhydrous conditions.

Aqueous AlCl3 can be prepared by reacting hydrochloric acid with aluminium metal. This reaction is very exothermic and the resulting hydrogen may ignite or explode if the reaction is done improperly.




Aluminium chloride is irritant to skin, eyes and respiratory system. It is a known neurotoxin.


Anhydrous AlCl3 must be stored in sealed containers, to prevent it from hydrolyzing. Schlenk flasks are often used.

Hydrated aluminium chloride doesn't require special storage.


Aluminium chloride will hydrolyze into aluminium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid. The acid is easy to neutralize and dispose of, but aluminium hydroxide is harmful to environment. Since is insoluble in water, it can easily be separated, purified and recovered.


Relevant Sciencemadness threads