| IUPAC name
| Other names
|Molar mass||163.38 g/mol|
|Melting point||57.5 °C (135.5 °F; 330.6 K)|
|Boiling point||195.5 °C (383.9 °F; 468.6 K)|
|8.17 g/100 ml (20 °C)|
|Solubility|| Miscible with acetone, alcohols, benzene, diethyl ether, methanol|
Slightly soluble in carbon tetrachloride
|Solubility in acetone||850 g/100 g (25 °C)|
|Solubility in benzene||201 g/100 g (25 °C)|
|Solubility in diethyl ether||617 g/100 g (25 °C)|
|Solubility in methanol||2143 g/100 g (25 °C)|
|Solubility in xylene||110 g/100 g (25 °C)|
|Vapor pressure||1 mmHg (51.1 °C)|
|Safety data sheet||Sigma-Aldrich|
|Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):|
LD50 (Median dose)
|3.320 mg/kg (rat, oral)|
| Acetic acid|
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Trichloroacetic acid or TCA is an organic chemical compound, an analogue of acetic acid in which the three hydrogen atoms of the methyl group have all been replaced by chlorine atoms. It has the chemical formula CCl3COOH.
TCA is a strong acid, which reacts with bases in solution to give salts.
Trichloroacetic acid is a colorless crystalline hygroscopic solid, soluble in water and organic solvents.
Trichloroacetic acid is sold by chemical suppliers. Sometimes it is sold by some dentistry suppliers, usually as a solution.
TCA can be synthesized by complete chlorination of acetic acid, with acetic anhydride as a catalyst, in the presence of UV light. Some sources indicate that sulfur or red phosphorus can also be used as catalysts.
- CH3COOH + 3 Cl2 → CCl3COOH + 3 HCl
This reaction also produces acetyl chloride and chloroacetyl chloride as side products, which may be recovered via fractional distillation if desired.
- Precipitation of macromolecules in biochemistry (proteins, DNA, RNA)
- Make dichloroacetic acid
- Make trifluoroacetic acid
Trichloroacetic acid is corrosive and harmful.
Trichloroacetic acid should be kept in closed air-tight bottles, preferably in a desiccator.
Adding an excess base will neutralize the compound. The compound can also be reduced to acetic acid using metallic powders.
Lastly, it can also be strongly diluted in water before being poured down the drain.