Chloroform - CHCl<sub>3</sub>

What is Chloroform?

Chloroform is an organic chemical compound initially employed as an ideal anesthetic. It was first prepared in 1831. The chemical formula is CHCl3. It is colourless, sweet smelling dense liquid produced in large scale. Chloroform may be released to the air as a result of its formation in the chlorination of drinking water, wastewater and swimming pools. Chloroform is an industrial chemical that can act as a lacrimator. It is non-flammable, which makes it safer to handle than ethanol.

Other names – Trichloromethane, Formyl trichloride, Trichloroform




1.49 g/cm³

Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass

119.38 g/mol

Boiling Point

61.2 °C

Melting Point

-63.5 °C

Chemical Formula


Chloroform Structure – CHCl3

Chloroform Structure

Physical Properties of Chloroform – CHCl3


Ether-like odor


Clear liquid

Covalently-Bonded Unit




Heavy Atom Count



Insoluble in water

Chemical Properties of Chloroform – CHCl3

  • Chloroform reacts with base sodium hydroxide forms sodium acetate, sodium hydroxide and water. The chemical equation is given below.
  • CHCl3 + 4NaOH → HCOONa + 3NaCl + 2H2O

  • Chloroform on oxidation forms Phosgene and hydrochloric acid. The chemical equation is given below.
  • 2CHCl3 + O2 → 2COCl2 + 2HCl

Uses of Chloroform – CHCl3

  • Used as an anesthetic and used in dentistry during root canal procedures.
  • The spectrum of pure chloroform is used as the reference or background, and pure cholesterol powder or cholesterol extract from milk products is dissolved in chloroform and used for FTIR analysis.
  • Chloroform was utilized in the past as an extraction dissolvable for fats, greases, oils, and different items; as a laundry spot.
  • Used as an indirect food additive in food packaging materials for adhesive components and as a component of food contact materials.

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