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Chloral hydrate
1,1-Ethanediol, 2,2,2-trichloro-
Bi 3411
Chloral monohydrate
Molecular Formula
MDL Number
Molecular Weight
MOL File

Chemical Properties

Chloral is a combustible, oily liquid with a pungent irritating odor.
colourless crystals with a pentrating odour
Melting point 
57 °C(lit.)

57 °C(lit.)

Boiling point 
97 °C
97 °C
1.43 g/mL at 20 °C

refractive index 
1.4603 (estimate)
16 °C
storage temp. 
Very soluble in water, freely soluble in ethanol (96 per cent).
10(at 25℃)
Specific Gravity
3.5-5.5 (20℃, 10%)
Stable, but may be air or light sensitive. Incompatible with alcohols, cyanides, iodine, strong bases, carbonates.
Water Solubility 
660 g/100 mL
CAS DataBase Reference
302-17-0(CAS DataBase Reference)
2A (Vol. 63, 84, 106) 2014
NIST Chemistry Reference
Chloral hydrate(302-17-0)
EPA Substance Registry System
302-17-0(EPA Substance)

Safety Data

Hazard Codes 
Risk Statements 
R25:Toxic if swallowed.
R36/38:Irritating to eyes and skin .
R39/23/24/25:Toxic: danger of very serious irreversible effects through inhalation, in contact with skin and if swallowed .
R23/24/25:Toxic by inhalation, in contact with skin and if swallowed .
R11:Highly Flammable.
R36/37/38:Irritating to eyes, respiratory system and skin .
Safety Statements 
S26:In case of contact with eyes, rinse immediately with plenty of water and seek medical advice .
S45:In case of accident or if you feel unwell, seek medical advice immediately (show label where possible) .
S25:Avoid contact with eyes .
S23:Do not breathe gas/fumes/vapor/spray (appropriate wording to be specified by the manufacturer) .
S36/37:Wear suitable protective clothing and gloves .
S16:Keep away from sources of ignition-No smoking .
S27:Take off immediately all contaminated clothing .
UN 3286 3/PG 2

WGK Germany 


HS Code 
Safety Profile
A human poison by ingestion and possibly other routes. Poison experimentally by ingestion, intravenous, and rectal routes. Moderately toxic by subcutaneous, parenteral, and intraperitoneal routes, Experimental reproductive effects. Human systemic effects by ingestion: general anesthetic, cardiac arrhythmias, blood pressure depression, eye effects, coma, pulse rate increase, arrhythmias. Human mutation data reported. Questionable carcinogen with experimental carcinogenic and tumorigenic data by skin contact. A sedative, anesthetic, and narcotic. Combustible when exposed to heat or flame. When heated to decomposition it emits toxic fumes of Cl-.
Hazardous Substances Data
302-17-0(Hazardous Substances Data)
LD50 oral in rat: 479mg/kg

Raw materials And Preparation Products

Hazard Information

General Description
Transparent colorless crystals or white crystalline solid. Aromatic penetrating slightly acrid odor and a slightly bitter caustic taste. Alcoholic solution (1 in 20) does not at once redden moistened blue litmus paper.
Reactivity Profile
CHLORAL HYDRATE(302-17-0) is incompatible with alkalis, alkaline earth metals, alkali carbonates and soluble barbiturates. CHLORAL HYDRATE(302-17-0) is decomposed by sodium hydroxide. CHLORAL HYDRATE(302-17-0) reduces ammoniacal silver nitrate. CHLORAL HYDRATE(302-17-0) liquefies when triturated with an equal quantity of menthol, camphor or thymol. . Reaction of CHLORAL HYDRATE(302-17-0) with hydroxylamine produces toxic hydrogen cyanide gas, Org. Synth., 1941, Vol. 1, 377.
Air & Water Reactions
Water soluble.
Overdose toxic, hypnotic drug, dangerous to eyes. Probable carcinogen.
Potential Exposure
Chloral is used as an intermediate in the manufacture of such pesticides as DDT, methoxychlor, DDVP, naled, trichlorfon, and TCA. Chloral is also used in the production of chloral hydrate; used as a therapeutic agent with hypnotic, sedative, and narcotic effects; used in a time prior to the introduction of barbiturates
Fire Hazard
Flash point data for this chemical are not available; however, CHLORAL HYDRATE is probably combustible.
First aid
Move victim to fresh air. Call 911 or emergency medical service. Give artificial respiration if victim is not breathing. Do not use mouth-to-mouth method if victim ingested or inhaled the substance; give artificial respiration with the aid of a pocket mask equipped with a one-way valve or other proper respiratory medical device. Administer oxygen if breathing is difficult. Remove and isolate contaminated clothing and shoes. In case of contact with substance, immediately flush skin or eyes with running water for at least 20 minutes. For minor skin contact, avoid spreading material on unaffected skin. Keep victim warm and quiet. Effects of exposure (inhalation, ingestion, or skin contact) to substance may be delayed. Ensure that medical personnel are aware of the material(s) involved and take precautions to protect themselves. Medical observation is recommended for 24 to 48 hours after breathing overexposure, as pulmonary edema may be delayed. As first aid for pulmonary edema, a doctor or authorized paramedic may consider administering a drug or other inhalation therapy.
UN2811 Toxic solids, organic, n.o.s., Hazard Class: 6.1; Labels: 6.1-Poisonous materials, Technical Name Required.
Chloral hydrate reacts with strong bases forming chloroform. Contact with acids, or exposure to light may cause polymerization. Reacts with water, forming chloral hydrate. Reacts with oxidizers, with a risk of fire or explosions.
Chloral hydrate was first synthesized in 1832 by Justus von Liebig and was the first synthetic central nervous system (CNS) depressant. It was used to treat delirium tremens, insomnia, and anxiety, although it is considered an unapproved drug by the US Food and Drug Administration. Initially considered to be a safer alternative to opium, it was noted to produce rapid unconsciousness when combined with ethanol. Physical dependence can occur with chronic use.
Waste Disposal
Incineration after mixing with another combustible fuel; care must be taken to assure complete combustion to prevent phosgene formation; an acid scrubber is necessary to remove the halo acids produced.
Chemical Properties
colourless crystals with a pentrating odour
Chemical Properties
Chloral is a combustible, oily liquid with a pungent irritating odor.
The sedative–hypnotic action of chloral hydrate should be explained by the formation of trichloroethanol, which is synthesized as a result of its reduction in tissues. Despite the fact that the precise mechanism of action of chloral hydrate is not known, it evidently acts analogous to ethanol on the CNS by increasing membrane permeability, which leads to sedation or sleep. Chloral hydrate can be used for insomnia as an alternative to benzodiazepines.
Trichloroacetaldehyde Hydrate is a useful chemical reagent used as a sedative/hypnotic agent for the short-term treatment of insomnia. First developed in 1832, chloral hydrate is the oldest sleep medication still in use today. This medication is also used to calm you just before surgery or other procedures. It works by affecting certain parts of the brain to cause calmness.
Studies have shown that when used in pediatric sedation side effects such as hallucination, excessive sleep and seizures were observed. Drowsiness and trouble waking up in the morning, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, and headache may occur. Stomach problems can be reduced by taking chloral hydrate with a full glass of water. It is sometimes administered to patients being treated with cyclophosphamide and it is known to inhibit some aldehyde dehydrogenases.
Besides, Chloral hydrate is a starting point for the synthesis of other organic compounds. It is the starting material for the production of chloral, which is produced by the distillation of a mixture of chloral hydrate and sulfuric acid, which serves as the desiccant.
Chloral hydrate is used as a sedative hypnotic, more commonly in pediatrics. With the advent of newer sedative hypnotics, its use has significantly decreased. It is also a drug of abuse, particularly in combination with ethanol to produce an amnestic effect in an individual who ingests it unknowingly.
ChEBI: An organochlorine compound that is the hydrate of trichloroacetaldehyde.
Biological Functions
Chloral hydrate (Noctec, Somnos) was developed in the late 1800s and is still used as a sedative–hypnotic agent. It is a hydrated aldehyde with a disagreeable smell and taste that is rapidly reduced in vivo to trichloroethanol, which is considered to be the active metabolite. It produces a high incidence of gastric irritation and allergic responses, occasionally causes cardiac arrhythmias, and is unreliable in patients with liver damage.
Biochem/physiol Actions
Chloral hydrate is a sedative/hypnotic.
Clinical Use
Although it is suggested that chloral hydrate per semay act as a hypnotic,chloral hydrate is very quickly convertedto trichloroethanol, which is generally assumed toaccount for almost all of the hypnotic effect. Thetrichloroethanol is metabolized by oxidation to chloral andthen to the inactive metabolite, trichloracetic acid, which is also extensively metabolized to acylglucuronidesvia conjugation with glucuronic acid. It appears tohave potent barbiturate-like binding to GABAAreceptors.Although an old drug, it still finds use as a sedative in nonoperatingroom procedures for the pediatric patient.
Chemical Synthesis
Chloral hydrate, 2,2,2-trichloro-1,1-ethandiol (4.3.1), is synthesized either by chlorination of ethanol or chlorination of acetaldehyde and the subsequent addition of water molecules to the resulting trichloroacetic aldehyde [31].

Drug interactions
Potentially hazardous interactions with other drugs
Anticoagulants: may transiently enhance effect of coumarins.
Antipsychotics: enhanced sedative effects.
Antivirals: concentration possibly increased by ritonavir.
Chloral hydrate has not been adequately tested for teratogenicity, reproductive effects, or chronic toxicity. Similarly, no histological evaluations have been conducted.
Environmental Fate
Chloral hydrate is a CNS depressant, but its mechanism of action is not well known. Coingestion with ethanol produces enhanced effects by several mechanisms. First, ethanol competes for alcohol and aldehyde dehydrogenase, which then prolongs the half-life of ethanol. The metabolism of ethanol generates the reduced form of NADH, which is a cofactor for the metabolism of chloral hydrate to its active metabolite trichloroethanol. Finally, ethanol inhibits the conjugation of trichloroethanol to its inactive form urochloralic acid. This results in enhanced CNS depression.
Chloral hydrate is rapidly metabolised to trichloroethanol (the active metabolite) and trichloroacetic acid in the erythrocytes, liver, and other tissues. It is excreted partly in the urine as trichloroethanol and its glucuronide (urochloralic acid) and as trichloroacetic acid. Some is also excreted in the bile.
Toxicity evaluation
Chloral hydrate has been detected at 5 mg l-1 in the US drinking water supply. Although chloral hydrate does not exist naturally, it can be produced as a by-product of chlorination of water at water treatment facilities, specifically in exposed water with high amounts of humic and fulvic substances.

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