Chromium(III) chloride

From Sciencemadness Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Chromium(III) chloride
IUPAC name
Chromium(III) chloride
Other names
Chromic chloride
Chromium trichloride
Molar mass 158.36 g/mol (anhydrous)
266.45 g/mol (hexahydrate)
Appearance Purple (anhydrous)
Dark green (hexahydrate)
Odor Odorless
Density 2.87 g/cm3 (anhydrous)
1.76 g/cm3 (hexahydrate)
Melting point 1,152 °C (2,106 °F; 1,425 K) (anhydrous)
83 °C (181 °F; 356 K) (hexahydrate)
Boiling point 1,300 °C (2,370 °F; 1,570 K) (decomposes)
Almost insoluble
58.5 g/100 ml (20 °C)
Solubility Insoluble in acetone, diethyl ether, ethanol
Safety data sheet Sigma-Aldrich (anhydrous)
Sigma-Aldrich (hexahydrate)
Flash point Non-flammable
Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):
1,870 mg/kg (rat, oral)
Related compounds
Related compounds
Iron(III) chloride
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Infobox references

Chromium(III) chloride (CrCl3) is a compound of chromium. It is available in two forms, anhydrous and hydrated.



Chromium(III) chloride will react with bases to give chromium hydroxide.


Chromium(III) chloride is a purple (anhydrous) or dark green (hydrated) solid.


Chromium chloride is sold by chemical suppliers.


Chromium chloride hexahydrate can be obtained by reacting chromium oxide, hydroxide or plain chromium metal with conc. hydrochloric acid.

Chromium chloride anhydrous can be prepared by reacting chromium hydroxide, chromium(III) oxide or just chromium metal with hydrochloric acid in methanol. Alternatively, hexahydrate chromium chloride is treated with thionyl chloride, yielding very dry CrCl3.

A more energetic route involves the carbothermic chlorination of chromium(III) oxide between 650–800 °C.

Reacting chlorine gas with hot chromium metal will also give anhydrous CrCl3.

Heating chromium(III) chloride hexahydrate in air will cause some of it to oxidize, resulting in CrCl3 contaminated with chromium oxide and oxychloride. To obtain the anhydrous form from the hexahydrate, you must heat the CrCl3 in the presence of a chlorine or chloride source, like thionyl chloride or dry hydrogen chloride gas.


  • Make chromates and dichromates
  • Make chromium(II) chloride
  • Make Cr coordination complexes and adducts
  • Make organochromium compounds



While less toxic than Cr(VI) compounds, chromium chloride is less toxic, although it's still quite harmful.


In closed bottles, air-tight for the anhydrous form.


Should be converted to less soluble forms and sent to disposal facilities. You can also recycle it.


Relevant Sciencemadness threads