When is chloroform used

chloroform CHCl3

Teflon closure
molar mass 119.378 g / mol

AGW0.5 ml / m3 (TRGS 900)
Melting point −63.3 ° C
boiling point +61.2 ° C
density 1.4890 g / cm3
Water solubility
Conc. At 25 ° C 8.0 g / l
Refractive index (20 ° C) 1,4459
GHS 06
GHS 08


Hazard classes + category 
Acute toxicity oral 4
Acute toxicity inhalation 3
Carcinogenicity 2
Reproductive toxicity 2
Skin corrosion / irritation 2
Serious eye damage / irritation 2
Specific target organ toxicity w. 1
(CNS, kidneys, liver)
HP rates(See note)
H 302, 315, 319, 331, 351, 361D, 372 (CNS,
Kidneys, liver)

P 261, 280.1-4,6,7, 361, 309 + 310, 403 + 233
disposalG 2

German designation
English designation
CAS 67-66-3Trichloromethane

Advice for schools: Chloroform must not be stored in schools. Old stocks are to be handed over to a waste disposal company immediately. When exposed to heat or with oxygen, phosgene and hydrogen chloride are formed. Chloroform is suspected of causing cancer. Acute poisoning manifests itself, for example, in headaches, nausea or dizziness. The beginning of unconsciousness is indicated by insensitivity to pain or drowsiness. Damage to the central nervous system is possible, and there is a risk of liver damage during repeated admission.


Chloroform or trichloromethane is a heavy, colorless and sweet-smelling liquid that is sparingly soluble in water. It is easily soluble in ethanol, ether and gasoline. Fats and oils also dissolve easily in it. The liquid evaporates easily, but it is not flammable. In contact with alkali metals, fluorine, pure oxygen, with metal powders and with many other flammable substances there is a risk of explosion. The development of phosgene is prevented with the laboratory chemical by adding 1% ethanol.

Four chloroalkanes in comparison: chloromethane is gaseous,
Dichloromethane, trichloromethane and carbon tetrachloride are liquids.


Trichloromethane is a halogenated hydrocarbon. It can be obtained by direct chlorination of methane. The various chloromethanes are formed in a multistage substitution reaction at around 450 ° C. Another possibility is the production from chlorinated lime or sodium hypochlorite and acetone in an alkaline solution. This creates trichloromethane and acetic acid:
2 H3C-CO-CH3 + 3 cl2 2 CHCl3 + 2 CH3COOH


Trichloromethane is a very good, non-flammable solvent for organic substances. Due to its high toxicity, it is rarely used for this today. It used to be used as the starting product for the manufacture of CFCs, the fluorochlorohydrocarbons, which are now banned. The chemical industry still needs it today for the production of organic substances, for example triphenylmethane dyes. In the 19th century, like diethyl ether, chloroform was an important narcotic in surgical operations. Due to the side effects, other narcotics are used today, such as flurane or nitrous oxide.