|Monochloroacetic Acid; NSC 142; NSC 42970; 2-Chloroacetic Acid; Chloracetic Acid; Chloroethanoic Acid; MCA; MCAA; MKhUK; Monochloroethanoic Acid; α-Chloroacetic Acid;
|White to Off-White Solid
|Chloroform, Methanol (Slightly)
|Building Blocks; Miscellaneous;
|Chloroacetic Acid is used to detect hydrated electron (e-aq) generated in p-benzoquinone/UV process.
|Not a dangerous good if item is equal to or less than 1g/ml and there is less than 100g/ml in the package
Chloroacetic Acid: Properties, Uses, and Safety
Chloroacetic acid (CAA) is a colorless or slightly yellow crystalline solid with a pungent odor. It is a highly reactive compound that is widely used in the chemical industry. In this article, we will explore the properties, uses, and safety of chloroacetic acid.
What is Chloroacetic Acid?
Chloroacetic acid is a halogenated carboxylic acid with the chemical formula ClCH2COOH. It is a highly reactive compound due to the presence of a halogen group (chlorine) and a carboxylic acid group. Chloroacetic acid is classified as a hazardous chemical due to its corrosive and toxic properties.
Properties of Chloroacetic Acid
- Molecular weight: 94.5 g/mol
- Melting point: 62-63°C
- Boiling point: 189°C
- Density: 1.58 g/cm3
- Solubility in water: 50 g/100 mL at 20°C
- pH: 1.3 (0.1 M solution in water)
- Vapor pressure: 0.1 mmHg at 20°C
Chloroacetic acid is highly soluble in water and polar solvents due to its carboxylic acid group. It is also highly reactive and can react with a variety of compounds such as alcohols, amines, and thiols. The presence of a halogen group (chlorine) makes it a potent electrophile, allowing it to participate in a variety of reactions such as nucleophilic substitution, esterification, and alkylation.
Synthesis of Chloroacetic Acid
Chloroacetic acid is mainly synthesized by the chlorination of acetic acid with chlorine gas or sodium hypochlorite. The reaction takes place in the presence of a catalyst such as iron or copper. The overall reaction can be represented as follows:
CH3COOH + Cl2 → ClCH2COOH + HCl
Chloroacetic acid can also be synthesized by the halogenation of acetic acid with other halogens such as bromine or iodine.
Uses of Chloroacetic Acid
Chloroacetic acid is widely used in the chemical industry for the synthesis of various compounds such as pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, and dyes. It is also used as a herbicide, bactericide, and fungicide in agriculture. Some common uses of chloroacetic acid include:
- Production of glyphosate: Chloroacetic acid is a key intermediate in the production of glyphosate, a widely used herbicide.
- Production of carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC): Chloroacetic acid is used in the synthesis of CMC, a water-soluble polymer used in a variety of applications such as food, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics.
- Production of dyes: Chloroacetic acid is used in the production of dyes such as indigo and alizarin.
- Production of drugs: Chloroacetic acid is used in the synthesis of various drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen.
Safety Precautions When Handling Chloroacetic Acid
Chloroacetic acid is a hazardous chemical that can cause severe skin and eye irritation, respiratory problems, and chemical burns if not handled properly. It is also toxic if ingested or inhaled. Therefore, it is essential to take appropriate safety precautions when handling chloroacetic acid. Some of the safety measures include:
- Wear protective clothing such as gloves, safety glasses, and lab coats when handling chloroacetic acid.
- Use appropriate ventilation systems to prevent the inhalation of fumes.
- Store chloroacetic acid in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area away from sources of heat and incompatible substances.
- Always add chloroacetic acid to water slowly and carefully, never the other way around, to prevent splashes and chemical reactions.
- In case of skin or eye contact, rinse with plenty of water and seek medical attention immediately.
Environmental Impact of Chloroacetic Acid
Chloroacetic acid is a highly reactive compound that can have significant environmental impacts if not handled properly. It can contaminate water and soil if spilled or released into the environment, causing harm to aquatic and terrestrial organisms. Therefore, it is essential to follow appropriate disposal and handling procedures when working with chloroacetic acid.
Alternatives to Chloroacetic Acid
Due to its hazardous properties, there is a growing need for alternative compounds to chloroacetic acid in various applications. Some of the alternative compounds include:
- Glycolic acid: a milder and less reactive organic acid that is used in some of the applications that use chloroacetic acid, such as the production of CMC.
- Gluconic acid: a non-toxic and biodegradable acid that can be used as a substitute for chloroacetic acid in some applications such as water treatment.
In conclusion, chloroacetic acid is a highly reactive and hazardous chemical that is widely used in the chemical industry for the synthesis of various compounds. It is also used as a herbicide, bactericide, and fungicide in agriculture. However, it is essential to take appropriate safety precautions when handling chloroacetic acid to prevent accidents and environmental pollution. There is also a growing need for alternative compounds to chloroacetic acid due to its hazardous properties.