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Ferric chloride

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Ferric chloride

EINECS 231-729-4
CAS No. 7705-08-0 Density 2.898 g/cm3
Solubility in water: 74.4 g/100 mL (0 °C); in acetone: 63 g/100 mL (18 °C); in Methanol: highly soluble; in Ethanol: 83 g/100 mL; in Diethyl ether: highly soluble Melting Point 306 °C
Formula FeCl3 Boiling Point 315 °C
Molecular Weight 162.20 Flash Point 316oC
Transport Information UN 1773 8/ PG 3 Appearance green-black by reflected light
Safety 26-39 Risk Codes 41-38-22
Molecular Structure Molecular Structure of 7705-08-0 (Ferric chloride) Hazard Symbols HarmfulXn

Ferric chloride anhydrous;Ironchloride (FeCl3);Flores martis;Iron chloride;Iron perchloride;Iron trichloride;NSC135798;NSC 51150;Riedel 12322;Trifloc;ViscoStat Plus;Ferric Chloride(FeCl3);Ferric Chloride (Anhydrous);


Ferric chloride Consensus Reports

Reported in EPA TSCA Inventory. EPA Genetic Toxicology Program.

Ferric chloride Standards and Recommendations

OSHA PEL: TWA 1 mg(Fe)/m3
ACGIH TLV: TWA 1 mg(Fe)/m3
DOT Classification:  8; Label: Corrosive

Ferric chloride Specification

Ferric chloride is a chemical compound with the formula FeCl3. The substance is also called as Iron(III) chloride which is a black crystalline powder. With the CAS register number 7705-08-0, the product is stable but very sensitive to moisture because it is hygroscopic. Ferric chloride is incompatible with strong oxidizing agents; forms explosive mixtures with sodium, potassium. This chemical should be stored in a separate safety storage cabinet or room. Ferric chloride is toxic to lungs, mucous membranes. It has a relatively low melting point and boils at around 315 °C.

Properties of Ferric chloride: Ferric chloride undergoes hydrolysis to give an acidic solution. Ferric chloride is a moderately strong Lewis acid which can form adducts with Lewis bases such as triphenylphosphine oxide, e.g. FeCl3(OPPh3)2. It also can react with chloride salts to produce FeCl4- ion. Oxalates react rapidly with aqueous Ferric chloride to give [Fe(C2O4)3]3-. It also reacts with iron to convert iron(III) to iron(II). Ferric chloride is a mild oxidising agent, for example, it can oxygenize copper(I) chloride to copper(II) chloride. When heated with iron(III) oxide at 350 °C, Ferric chloride gives iron oxychloride. The reaction equations are as the following:

2 FeCl3 + Fe → 3 FeCl2
FeCl3 + CuCl → FeCl2 + CuCl2
FeCl3 + Fe2O3 → 3 FeOCl

Preparation of Ferric chloride: Ferric chloride can be oxidised with sulfur dioxide to give Ferric chloride. In addition, it can also be prepared by union of the elements: iron and chlorine gas.

32 FeCl2 + 8 SO2 + 32 HCl → 32 FeCl3 + S8 + 16 H2O
2 Fe(s) + 3 Cl2(g) → 2 FeCl3(s)

What's more, Ferric chloride can be produced by dissolving iron ore in hydrochloric acid. The reaction equation is as the following:

Fe3O4(s) + 8 HCl(aq) → FeCl2(aq) + 2 FeCl3(aq) + 4 H2O

Besides, this chemical can also be prepared by hydrochloric acid and iron powder adding into the reactor to generate ferrous chloride solution. The mixture is defecated and then put into chlorine gas for chlorination reaction to give ferric chloride solution.

Fe + 2 HCl → FeCl2 + H2
FeCl2 + Cl2 → 2 FeCl3

Uses of Ferric chloride: Ferric chloride can be used as a Lewis acid for catalysing reactions such as chlorination of aromatic compounds and Friedel-Crafts reaction of aromatics in the laboratory. Ferric chloride is used to treat sewage and industrial waste. It can also be used to purify water, as an etching agent for engraving circuit boards and in the manufacture of other chemicals. It is also used as a leaching agent in chloride hydrometallurgy, for example in the production of Si from FeSi. In industrial application, Ferric chloride is used in sewage treatment and drinking water production.

Another important application of Ferric chloride is etching copper to copper(I) chloride and then to copper(II) chloride in the production of printed circuit boards in two-step redox reaction.

FeCl3 + Cu → FeCl2 + CuCl
FeCl3 + CuCl → FeCl2 + CuCl2

Ferric chloride is used as catalyst for the reaction of ethylene with chlorine, forming ethylene dichloride.

H2C=CH2 + Cl2 → ClCH2CH2Cl

What's more, Ferric chloride can also be used by knife craftsmen and sword smiths to stain blades, as to give a contrasting effect to the metal, and to view metal layering or imperfections. It is also used in veterinary practice to treat overcropping of an animal's claws, particularly when the overcropping results in bleeding. This chemical can react with cyclopentadienylmagnesium bromide in one preparation of ferrocene, a metal-sandwich complex. It is used in an animal thrombosis model. Besides, it is used in conjunction with NaI in acetonitrile to mildly reduce organic azides to primary amines.

When you are using Ferric chloride, you should be very cautious about it. It is harmful if swallowed and irritating to skin. There will be a risk of serious damage to eyes. In case of contact with eyes, you should rinse immediately with plenty of water and seek medical advice. Whenever you will use or contact it, you need wear eye/face protection.

You can still convert the following datas into molecular structure:
(1)Canonical SMILES: Cl[Fe](Cl)Cl
(2)InChI: InChI=1S/3ClH.Fe/h3*1H;/q;;;+3/p-3

The toxicity data is as follows:

Organism Test Type Route Reported Dose (Normalized Dose) Effect Source
mouse LD50 intravenous 58mg/kg (58mg/kg)   Yakugaku Zasshi. Journal of Pharmacy. Vol. 87, Pg. 677, 1967.
mouse LD50 oral 895mg/kg (895mg/kg)   Kenkyu Nenpo--Tokyo-toritsu Eisei Kenkyusho. Annual Report of Tokyo Metropolitan Research Laboratory of Public Health. Vol. 27, Pg. 159, 1976.
rat LD50 oral 450mg/kg (450mg/kg)   Gigiena i Sanitariya. For English translation, see HYSAAV. Vol. 39(5), Pg. 16, 1974.

Veterinary and Human Toxicology. Vol. 40, Pg. 31, 1998.

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