What is the name of CH3Cl

Structural formula
Surname chloroform
other names
  • Trichloromethane (IUPAC)
  • Chloroetheride
  • Methenyl chloride
  • Methine chloride
Molecular formula CHCl3
CAS number 67-66-3
Brief description colorless liquid
Molar mass 119.38 g mol−1
Physical state liquid
density 1.48 g · cm−3 (20 ° C)[1]
Melting point −63 ° C[1]
boiling point 61 ° C[1]
Vapor pressure

213 hPa (20 ° C)[1]


good in alcohol, ether, benzene, almost insoluble in water

safety instructions

0.5 ml / m3[1]

WGK 3 - highly hazardous to water[1]
As far as possible and customary, SI units are used. Unless otherwise noted, the data given apply to standard conditions.

chloroform (systematic name Trichloromethane) is a chlorinated hydrocarbon with the empirical formula CHCl3.


Trichloromethane is a colorless, non-flammable, volatile liquid with a sweet odor. The melting point is −63 ° C, the boiling point is 61 ° C. It has a greater density than water and is only sparingly soluble in it. The fumes cause unconsciousness and remove the sensation of pain. Because of its toxic effects on the heart, liver and other internal organs, chloroform is no longer used as an anesthetic. It is also suspected of being carcinogenic. Chloroform is photochemically decomposed by oxygen under the influence of light, producing phosgene, chlorine and hydrogen chloride. Commercial chloroform contains 0.5-1.0% ethanol as a stabilizer.


Industrial chloroform is produced by heating chlorine with methane or chloromethane to 400–500 ° C. At this temperature a gradual radical substitution up to carbon tetrachloride takes place:

Methane reacts with chlorine with the formation of hydrogen chloride first to form chloromethane, then further to dichloromethane, trichloromethane and finally to carbon tetrachloride. The result of the process is a mixture of the four chloromethanes, which can be separated by distillation.


Chloroform is primarily used as a solvent and for the production of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) is used.

Deuterated chloroform (CDCl3), also called deuterochloroform, is the most widely used solvent in nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR).


Chloroform was produced independently in 1831 by Justus von Liebig and Eugene Souberain. After its narcotic effect had already been recognized in 1847 by the French physiologist Marie Jean Pierre Flourens and the English obstetrician James Young Simpson, it was thanks to the latter that chloroform was introduced into medical practice a year later and that countless patients were spared surgical pain. Due to the surgical procedures at that time, the use of this narcotic was of great importance for the entire surgical activity. Among other things, the patients feared the impending pain long before an operation and then often came to the operating table already morally weakened. There they were gagged according to certain methods drawn up for each particular operation so that they would not cause obstacles through disturbing movements during the painful procedure. In the operation itself, the first and most essential requirement was speed, to which accuracy, cleanliness and thoroughness had often been sacrificed. Using chloroform, not only were the most difficult and invasive operations performed painlessly, it was also possible to work much more precisely.


In films, a handkerchief is often drizzled with a few drops of chloroform, which is then held in front of the victim's mouth, rendering the victim unconscious in a few seconds. In reality, however, the vapors from a few drops and the brief inhalation would put the victim into a 15-minute intoxication.

Legal provisions

Since chloroform is listed in Annex IV of Regulation 2377/90 (EEC), its use in food-producing animals is generally prohibited in the European Union.


  1. abcdef Entry to chloroform in the GESTIS substance database of the BGIA, accessed on December 8, 2007 (JavaScript required)

Categories: Harmful Substance | Organochlorine compound | Haloalkane