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Triethylaluminum Basic information
Triethylaluminum Chemical Properties
  • Melting point:-50°C
  • Boiling point:128-130°C (50 mmHg)
  • Density 0.85 g/mL at 20 °C
  • vapor pressure 1 mmHg ( 62.2 °C)
  • Flash point:−1 °F
  • storage temp.  0-6°C
  • form liquid
  • color colorless
  • Water Solubility reacts
  • Sensitive Air & Moisture Sensitive
  • BRN 3587229
  • CAS DataBase Reference97-93-8(CAS DataBase Reference)
  • NIST Chemistry ReferenceTriethylaluminum(97-93-8)
  • EPA Substance Registry SystemTriethylaluminum (97-93-8)
Safety Information
Triethylaluminum Usage And Synthesis
  • Chemical PropertiesColorless liquid. Miscible with saturated hydrocarbons.
  • Chemical PropertiesThe aluminum alkyls are highly flammable and reactive, colorless to yellow liquids at room temperature. The lighter trialkylaluminums ignite spontaneously in air. They are normally supplied and used in a 20% solution with a hydrocarbon solvent, such as hexane, heptane, benzene, toluene. Properties may depend on solvent. Reacts violently with water.
  • UsesCatalyst intermediate for polymerization of olefins, especially ethylene; pyrophoric fuels; production of α-olefins and long-chain alcohols; gas plating of aluminum.
  • UsesTriethylaluminum, in combination withmany transition metal complexes, is used as Ziegler-Natta polymerization and hydrogenationcatalyst. Also, it is used as intermediatein organic syntheses.
  • General DescriptionA colorless liquid. Flammable gas is produced on contact with water.
  • Air & Water ReactionsPyrophoric, ignites in moist air [Merck 11th ed. 1989]. Reacts violently with water.
  • Reactivity ProfileTriethylaluminum reacts violently with water, alcohols, phenols, amines, carbon dioxide, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, halogens, and halogenated hydrocarbons, causing fire and explosion hazards. [Handling Chemicals Safely 1980 p. 929]. A mixture of dimethylformamide and triethyl aluminum exploded when heated [Bretherick 1995].
  • Health HazardExposure to smoke from fire causes metal-fume fever (flu-like symptoms). Since liquid ignites spontaneously, contact with eyes or skin causes severe burns.
  • Health HazardThe health hazard from exposure to thiscompound is attributed to its violent reactionswith many substances, including airand water. Because of its violent reactionwith moisture, skin contact can cause a dangerousburn. Contact with eyes can damagevision.
  • Fire HazardTriethylaluminum is extremely pyrophoric, igniting spontaneously in air. It reacts violently with water, alcohol, halogenated hydrocarbons, and oxidizing substances. Among the alcohols, the lower alcohols, methanol, ethanol, n- propanol, and isopropyl alcohol, react explosively with triethylaluminum. Reactions with lower aldehydes, ketones and amides can be vigorous to violent. It may explode on contact with halocarbons in excess molar ratios or upon slight warming. When heated to 200°C (392°F), it decomposes, liberating ethylene and hydrogen.
  • Safety ProfileExtremely destructive to living tissue. A very dangerous fire hazard when exposed to heat or flame. Ignites spontaneously in air. Explodes violently in water. To fight fire, use CO2, dry sand, dry chemical. Do not use water, foam, or halogenated fire-fighting agents. Explosive reaction with alcohols (e.g., methanol, ethanol, propanol), carbon tetrachloride, N,N-dmethylformamide + heat. Incompatible with halogenated hydrocarbons; triethyl borane. When heated to decomposition it emits acrid smoke and irritating fumes. See also ALUMINUM COMPOUNDS and ORGANOMETALS.
  • Potential ExposureAlkyl aluminum compounds are used as components of olefin polymerization catalysts. They are also used in the synthesis of higher primary alcohols and in pyrophoric fuels, as a catalyst in making ethylene gas; and in plating aluminum.
  • Shippingntial fire or explosion hazard. Shipping: UN3399 Organometallic substance, liquid, water-reactive, flammable, Hazard Class: 4.3; Labels: 4.3 Dangerous Dangerous when wet material, 3-Flammable liquid, technical name Required. UN3051-Spontaneously combustible. Also, this material is dangerous when wet. (Note: this number does not appear in the 49/CFR HazMat tables).
  • Purification MethodsPurify it by fractionation in an inert atmosphere under a vacuum in a 50cm column containing a heated nichrome spiral, taking the fraction b 112-114o/27mm. It is very sensitive to H2O and should be stored under N2. It should not contain chloride ions which can be shown by hydrolysis and testing with AgNO3. [Baker & Sisler J Am Chem Soc 75 4828 5193 1953, NMR: Brownstein et al. J Am Chem Soc 81 3826 1959, Beilstein 4 IV 4398.]
  • IncompatibilitiesThe lighter trialkylaluminums ignite spontaneously in air; can self-heat in the air at room temperature without any added energy and may ignite. These compounds are strong reducing agents. Incompatible with oxidizers (chlorates, nitrates, peroxides, permanganates, perchlorates, chlorine, bromine, fluorine, etc.); contact may cause fires or explosions. Keep away from alkaline materials, strong bases, strong acids, oxoacids, epoxides. Incompatible with water, oxygen (air), acids, alcohols, phenols, amines, carbon dioxide; sulfur oxides; halogenated compounds, and many other substances
  • Waste DisposalCareful incineration
Triethylaluminum Preparation Products And Raw materials
Triethylaluminum(97-93-8)Related Product Information
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