Trichloroacetic acid - C2HCl3O2

What is Trichloroacetic acid?

Trichloroacetic acid is an is an analogue of acetic acid where the three hydrogen (H) atoms of the methyl (-CH3) group are replaced by chlorine (Cl) atoms.

Trichloroacetic acid is also called Trichloroethanoic acid or Aceto-caustin. Esters and salts of trichloroacetic acid are termed as trichloroacetates. The chemical formula of Trichloroacetic acid is C2HCl3O2.

It was discovered by Jean-Baptiste Dumas in the year 1839. Aceto-caustin in its solid form, is a crystalline solid without colour. It forms a syrup by absorbing the moisture from the air. It dissolves in water by liberating heat. It is corrosive. It is a powerful acid which is widely used in clinical chemistry as a protein precipitant. Also, it has a wide application in removing warts.

Properties of Trichloroacetic acid- C2HCl3O2

Trichloroacetic acid C2HCl3O2
Molecular Weight of Trichloroacetic acid 163.38 g/mol
Density of of Trichloroacetic acid 1.63 g/cm3
Melting Point of Trichloroacetic acid 57 to 58 °C
Boiling point of Trichloroacetic acid 196 to 197 °C

Structure of Trichloroacetic acid (C2HCl3O2)

Structure of Trichloroacetic acid

Structure of Trichloroacetic acid

 

Uses of Trichloroacetic acid (C2HCl3O2)

  • Trichloroacetic acid is used in biochemistry to precipitate macromolecules such as DNA, RNA, and proteins.
  • It is used in microscopy as a fixative and decalcifier.
  • Used as a reagent in organic synthesis to detect albumin, medicine, and herbicides.
  • Used in the chemoablation of warts.
  • DCA and TCA are used in cosmetic treatments.

Preparation of Trichloroacetic acid

It is synthesized by reacting chlorine (Cl) with acetic acid (CH3COOH ) in the presence of a catalyst.

CH3COOH + 3Cl2 → CCl3COOH +3HCl

It can also be produced by oxidation of trichloroacetaldehyde.

Effects on Health

Trichloroethanoic acid acts as a metabolite, a mouse metabolite, and a carcinogenic agent. It is an organochlorine compound as well as a monocarboxylic acid. It is derived from acetic acid (CH3COOH).

Frequently Asked Questions

Is trichloroacetic acid a strong acid?

From a chemical ionization point of view, trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is a much stronger acid than acetic acid because electronegative chlorine atoms remove electron density from the carboxyl end of the molecule, producing a partial positive charge on the carboxyl ring.

Is Trichloroacetic Acid carcinogenic?

The skin peels of TCA contain about 15 percent -50 percent of the carcinogenic chemicals according to product labels. In addition to cancer, TCA has been related to genetic damage, birth defects, decreased fertility and other serious health problems in animal studies.

What is the use of trichloroacetic acid?

This is commonly used for the precipitation of macromolecules, such as proteins, DNA, and RNA in biochemistry. TCA and DCA are also used in cosmetic procedures (such as chemical peels and removal of tattoos) and as topical wart chemoablation drugs, including genital warts. It can kill even normal cells.

Is Trichloroacetic Acid Safe?

According to study findings released in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery, trichloroacetic acid peelings are healthy and effective for light and dark skin.

What is the function of trichloroacetic acid?

This is commonly used for the precipitation of macromolecules, such as proteins, DNA, and RNA in biochemistry. TCA and DCA are also used in cosmetic procedures (such as chemical peels and removal of tattoos) and as topical wart chemoablation drugs, including genital warts. It can kill even normal cells.

Learn more about the physical and chemical properties of Trichloroacetic acid (C2HCl3O2) from the experts at BYJU’S.

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