Chloroform at home: production methods, physical properties, domestic use and danger

What is chloroform? This chemical compound, which is a volatile liquid, is colorless, with a pungent ether smell and a sweet aftertaste. The substance is not soluble in water, not combustible, and can be mixed with most solvents.

Toxic, when exposed to ultraviolet rays and in contact with oxygen, it slowly decomposes, converting to even more dangerous substances, including phosgene and chlorine.

Used for industrial and medical purposes.

chloroform at home


The first chemical substance was obtained in 1831 by the German chemist Samuel Guthrie. The main formula and name for the compound was established by the French scientist Dumas in 1834.

For a long time, chloroform was used for industrial purposes, mainly as a solvent.

In medicine, the substance was first used in 1847 as anesthesia by an English physician, Simpson.

how to make chloroform at home

The discovery came to Russia only after 50 years, and Boris Zbarsky brought the real medical chloroform at home in 1916. As an anesthetic, it was widely used after the operations of Nikolai Pirogov.

Physical properties

  • The formula of the compound is CHCl 3 .
  • Refraction - 1.48858 at a temperature of 15 ° C.
  • Boiling point - + 61.152 ° C.
  • Crystallization at 63.55 ° C.
  • It is soluble in water only at temperatures above 31 ° C in a small amount.

Chloroform, used for medical purposes and sold on a limited basis, contains up to 2% ethyl alcohol, which acts as a link between the components and prevents the compound from decomposing in sunlight and releasing hazardous substances.

Ways to get

On an industrial scale, liquid is produced by chlorination.

Chloroform is obtained by heating chlorine and methane (or methane-containing substances, methyl chloride) at a temperature of 400 ° C. The result is a mixture consisting of several compounds, the separation of which occurs by distillation.

In laboratory studies, chloroform is also produced by the reaction of calcium hypochlorite and acetone. As a result, two types of liquids are distinguished, which are also separated by distillation.

Chloroform at home is extracted from various substances in several ways.

  1. When combining bleach with ethyl alcohol, acetone or acetaldehyde.

  2. By electrolysis from alcohol, salt and sodium hydroxide (caustic soda).

  3. When heating trichloroacetic acid.

When working with substances, all safety precautions are taken. The skin cover should be covered with special clothing, gloves, glasses and a protective mask are mandatory to prevent inhalation of the vapor of the compound.

getting chloroform at home

Getting chloroform at home

You can get chloroform from pure bleach or products containing it, for example, special cleaning products. The most famous is the “Whiteness” fluid.

The substance must be mixed with acetone in a glass or plastic container in a ratio of 1 part acetone to 30 parts of "White". After settling, divide the resulting liquid with a dropping funnel into water and chloroform.

In the case of sodium hydroxide (caustic soda, NaOH), electrolysis can be carried out at home. Pour alcohol (preferably ethyl) into glass or plastic containers, add salt and mix thoroughly until completely dissolved. Salt acts as an amplifier of conductive abilities. Add caustic soda, lower the two electrodes connected to the power source. After boiling the solution, it is necessary to monitor how quickly the liquid will stratify into water (above) and chloroform (below).

Heating trichloroacetic acid to a temperature of +75 ° C and evaporating carbon dioxide will also give you chloroform. At home, you need to take certain measures to ensure your safety - you need to wear a special protective mask so as not to breathe harmful substances, and when working with acid, thick rubber gloves should be used.


Initially, chloroform was used as a solvent, most of it for rubber and petroleum products.

In the 19-20th centuries. - as anesthesia during many operations.

Currently, chloroform is used:

  • to obtain more complex substances (freon, freon);
  • as a solvent;
  • for the production of pesticides;
  • in the manufacture of dyes.

what is chloroform

Caution - hazardous substance!

Chloroform is an extremely dangerous substance, exactly the same as its components. Therefore, carefully weigh the pros and cons before learning how to make chloroform at home. After all, there are many safe analogues of this substance.

Chloroform is a harmful and dangerous compound. It affects the whole organism as a whole and when handling it, it is necessary to apply precautionary measures.

Chloroform is a semi-ether substance and spreads very quickly through the air. When exposed to the lungs, it is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, causing a negative reaction in the whole body.

The central nervous system is suppressed under the influence of a substance. When a small amount is inhaled, dizziness is felt, a feeling of general fatigue appears, headache and vomiting may occur. With prolonged exposure, a person loses consciousness.

Long-term effects, even in small doses, cause liver and kidney disease.

If you greatly increase the dose of chloroform and leave the person under its influence - a fatal outcome is possible.

When conducting studies on rats, it was found that prolonged use in small doses leads to miscarriages, and born animals have a large percentage of genetic abnormalities.

If you decide to get chloroform at home, you need to be as careful as possible. In addition to the properties of the substance itself, it should be noted that there is the possibility of poisoning with phosgene, which causes even more serious consequences for the human body.


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