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chloroform (klôrˈəfôrm) or trichloromethane (trīˌklôrōmĕthˈān), CHCl3, volatile, colorless, nonflammable liquid that has a sweetish taste and a somewhat pungent odor; it boils at 61.7℃. It dissolves freely in ethanol and ether but does not mix with water. Chloroform is produced by reaction of chlorine with ethanol and by the reduction of carbon tetrachloride with moist iron. It was once used as a general anesthetic in surgery but has been replaced by less toxic, safer anesthetics, such as ether. Chemically, it is employed as a solvent for fats, alkaloids, iodine, and other substances. When exposed to sunlight and air it reacts to form phosgene, a poisonous gas.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also trichloromethane), CHCl3, a colorless liquid, with a pungent odor and sweet burning taste. Chloroform has a boiling point of 61.15°C and a density of 1.488 g/cm3 (at 20°C). It is practically insoluble in water but is soluble in most organic solvents. In the light, it is slowly decomposed by atmospheric oxygen with the formation of phosgene, chlorine, hydrogen chloride, and formic acid; consequently, 1 percent ethyl alcohol is added as a stabilizer.

Many reactions of chloroform proceed through the intermediate formation of dichlorocarbene, :CCl2, for example, the synthesis of isocyanides by the reaction of chloroform with primary amines in the presence of alkalies and the reaction of chloroform with the alcoholates RONa, which leads to the formation of ortho esters.

Chloroform is produced by chlorination, for example, of methane, acetone, or alcohol. Considerable chloroform is used in industry in the production of the freon difluorochloromethane, CF2ClH; it is also used as a solvent.

Chloroform is an anesthetic. It exists in two types of preparations. The first is primarily for external use, in medical practice for massages and in histology as a tissue preservative and fixative; occasionally it is used internally in the form of drops to relieve certain symptoms, for example, nausea. The second type of chloroform preparation is used as an anesthetic; it is specially purified and has a strong anesthetizing effect and relatively high toxicity.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


(organic chemistry)
CHCl3 A colorless, sweet-smelling, nonflammable liquid; used at one time as an anesthetic. Also known as trichloromethane.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


a heavy volatile liquid with a sweet taste and odour, used as a solvent and cleansing agent and in refrigerants: formerly used as an inhalation anaesthetic. Formula: CHCl3
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Leaves residue (60g) diluted with 500ml distilled water and extracted in succession, with hexane, CHCl3 and EtOAc.
1) like CH3CN (MeCN), CHCl3 (CF), CH2Cl2 (DCM), CH3OH (MeOH), dimethylformamide (DMF) and dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) at 2.8x10-5 M.
The product p-nitrophenol was extracted with CHCl3 and then centrifuged to get two fractions.
10 mL of a 2.5x10-5 M aqueous solution of reactive dye with 0.1 g of NaCl and 10 mL of 1.0x10-3 M of p-tert-butylcalix[4]arene or its derivative in CHCl3 were vigorously agitated in 25 mL stoppered flask with a mechanical shaker for 1 hour and finally left standing for additionally 15 min to settle down the two phases.
The MeOH-soluble fraction was suspended in H2O and partitioned sequentially with CHCl3, EtOAc, and acetone, yielding three corresponding fractions respectively, CHCl3-soluble fraction (Fr.
1H NMR(CDCl3 ppm):6.6-6.68(H- 2), 6.9-7.1 (H-6,H-8),7.22(CHCl3),7.8-8 (H-3),7.22-7.4 (H-B).
About 148.0 g of the dried sponge material was extracted three times by an equal mixture of CHCl3 and MeOH at room temperature and the obtained extract was concentrated under vacuum to yield a brown gummy material (30.0 g).
Ethyl acetate fraction of methanolic inflorescence extract yielded three TLC fractions namely A, B and C with Rf values of 0.46, 0.61 and 0.71, respectively, using solvent system CHCl3: MeOH (8:2).