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A colorless, poisonous gas with a suffocating odor. Phosgene can be formed as a decomposition product of chlorinated hydrocarbons with heat or ultraviolet light. It can be detected using a solution of p-dimethylaminobenzaldehyde (5%) and diphenyl amine (5%) in ethanol. A paper soaked in this mixture then dried will turn from yellow to deep orange in the presence of less than 1 ppm phosgene.

Synonyms and Related Terms

carbonyl chloride; carbonic dichloride; carbon oxychloride; chloroformyl chloride


Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble in benzene, toluene, glacial acetic acid and most hydrocarbons. Slightly soluble in water.

Composition COCl2
CAS 75-44-5
Melting Point -118 C
Density 1.392 g/ml
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 98.9
Boiling Point 8.2 C