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Trichloroacetic acid (Molecule of the Month for June 2014)


Trichloroacetic acid (also known as trichloroethanoic acid) is an analogue of acetic acid in which the three hydrogen atoms of the methyl group have all been replaced by chlorine atoms. It is a strong acid, comparable to sulfuric acid.

It is widely used in biochemistry for the precipitation of macromolecules such as proteins, DNA and RNA. Its sodium salt is used as a weedkiller.

Solutions containing trichloroacetic acid as an ingredient are used for tattoo removal and the treatment of warts, including genital warts, but it is not recommended for self usage. It can kill normal cells as well. It is considered safe for use for this purpose during pregnancy

Formal Chemical Name (IUPAC)
2,2,2-trichloroacetic acid



Picture of Trichloroacetic acid 3D model

click on the picture of  Trichloroacetic acid above to interact
with the 3D model of the
Trichloroacetic acid structure
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Picture of Trichloroacetic acid

C2 H Cl3 O2

Update by Karl Harrison
(Molecule of the Month for June 2014 )

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