Acetyl chloride

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A highly corrosive, fuming liquid with a pungent odor. Acetyl chloride is used as a reagent to detect the presence of Cholesterol and the presence of water in organic liquids.

Synonyms and Related Terms

chloride acetic acid; acetic chloride; ethanoyl chloride


  • Flammable. Flash point = 4C
  • Corrosive.
  • Contact, ingestion, and inhalation destroys tissues.
  • Lachrymator.
  • Reacts violently with water. Incompatible with water, alcohols, oxidizing agents, strong bases. Produces toxic combustion products: carbon monoxide, hydrogen chloride, phosgene.
  • ThermoFisher: SDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Reacts violently with water.

Miscible in benzene, chloroform, ether.

Composition C2H3ClO
CAS 75-36-5
Melting Point -112 C
Density 1.104 g/ml
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 78.50
Refractive Index 1.3898
Boiling Point 52 C

Resources and Citations

  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983
  • MSDS Sheet Comment: MFA, Conservation and Collections Management dept.