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Methyl chloroformate

Methyl chloroformate
Methyl chloroformate structure
Chemical Name:
Methyl chloroformate
MCF;tl438;TL 438;k-stoff;JACS-79-22-1;Metilcloroformiato;Methyl Chloroforate;rcrawastenumberu156;METHYL CHLOROFORMATE;Methylchloorformiaat
Molecular Formula:
Formula Weight:
MOL File:

Methyl chloroformate Properties

Melting point:
Boiling point:
70-72 °C(lit.)
1.223 g/mL at 25 °C(lit.)
vapor density 
3.26 (vs air)
vapor pressure 
4.8 psi ( 20 °C)
refractive index 
n20/D 1.387(lit.)
Flash point:
64 °F
storage temp. 
Store at 0-5°C
Clear colorless to light yellow
Water Solubility 
CAS DataBase Reference
79-22-1(CAS DataBase Reference)
EWG's Food Scores
NIST Chemistry Reference
Carbonochloridic acid, methyl ester(79-22-1)
EPA Substance Registry System
Methyl chlorocarbonate (79-22-1)
  • Risk and Safety Statements
Signal word  Danger
Hazard statements  H225-H302-H312-H314-H330
Precautionary statements  P210-P280-P305+P351+P338-P310
Hazard Codes  F,T+
Risk Statements  11-21/22-26-34
Safety Statements  14-26-28-36/37/39-45-63-46-28A-39-36/37
RIDADR  UN 1238 6.1/PG 1
WGK Germany  2
RTECS  FG3675000
Autoignition Temperature 485 °C
HazardClass  6.1(a)
PackingGroup  I
HS Code  29151300
NFPA 704
4 1

Methyl chloroformate Chemical Properties,Uses,Production

Chemical Properties

Colorless liquid. Decomposed by hot water; stable to cold water. Soluble in methanol alcohol, ether, and benzene.

Chemical Properties

Methyl chloroformate is a colorless liquid with an unpleasant, acrid odor. This is a highly corrosive and flammable material.


Chloroformic Acid Methyl Ester is used in the synthesis of a new class of potent Cdk4 inhibitors in the treatment of cancer. Also used in the synthesis of Phorboxazole B.

Production Methods

Prepared from phosgene and methyl alcohol.

General Description

A colorless liquid with a pungent odor. Flash point 54°F. Corrosive to metals and tissue. Vapors heavier than air. Very toxic by inhalation. Used to make other chemicals and insecticides.

Air & Water Reactions

Highly flammable. Gives off hydrochloric acid fumes in contact with moist air. Slightly soluble in water and decomposed by water to hydrochloric acid with evolution of heat.

Reactivity Profile

Methyl chloroformate is incompatible with water, strong oxidizing agents, alcohols, bases (including amines). Decomposes slowly in water to yield methanol, HCl, and CO2; reaction can be hazardous if water is hot. Attacks many metals especially in humid atmosphere [Handling Chemicals Safely 1980. p. 476]. May react vigorously or explosively if mixed with diisopropyl ether or other ethers in the presence of trace amounts of metal salts [J. Haz. Mat., 1981, 4, 291].


Flammable, dangerous fire risk. Highly corrosive and irritant to skin and eyes.

Health Hazard

Methyl chloroformate is highly toxic upon inhalation and upon ingestion. A concentration of 1 mg/liter (190 ppm) has been lethal in 10 minutes. It is corrosive and irritating to skin.

Fire Hazard

Methyl chloroformate is very dangerous when exposed to heat sources, sparks, flame, or oxidizers. Methyl chloroformate will react with water or steam to produce toxic and corrosive fumes. Vapors may travel to a source of ignition and flash back. Withdraw immediately in case of rising sound from venting safety device or any discoloration of tank due to fire. Toxic fumes of phosgene are produced when the material is heated to decomposition. Heat or steam should be avoided.

Chemical Reactivity

Reactivity with Water: Reacts slowly, evolving hydrogen chloride (hydrochloric acid). Reaction can be hazardous if water is hot; Reactivity with Common Materials: Corrodes rubber; Stability During Transport: Stable; Neutralizing Agents for Acids and Caustics: Flush with water, rinse with sodium bicarbonate or lime solution; Polymerization: Not pertinent; Inhibitor of Polymerization: Not pertinent.

Safety Profile

Poison by ingestion, inhalation, and intraperitoneal routes. Moderately toxic by skin contact. Human systemic effects by inhalation: conjunctiva irritation and respiratory effects. Corrosive to skin, eyes, and mucous membranes. Very dangerous fire hazard when exposed to heat sources, sparks, flame, or oxidzers. Reacts with water or steam to produce toxic and corrosive fumes. When heated to decomposition it emits toxic fumes of Cl-, methyl chloroformate, and phosgene.

Potential Exposure

Used in synthesis of pharmaceuticals; herbicides, plastics and other organic chemicals; as a solvent in the photographic industry; as a chemical intermediate in the production of other chemicals. In WWI it was used as military tear-producing warfare agent.


UN1238 Methyl chloroformate, Hazard class: 6.1; Labels: 6.1-Poison Inhalation Hazard, 3-Flammable liquid, 8-Corrosive material Inhalation Hazard Zone A


May form explosive mixture with air. Violent reaction with alkali metals; ethers. Incompatible with strong acids; strong bases; alcohols, oxidizers, dimethylsulfoxide; dimethyl formamide. Contact with water or moisture produces corrosive and poisonous hydrogen chloride gas, methanol and carbon monoxide. Corrodes metals in the presence of moisture. Attacks some plastics, rubber and coatings.

Waste Disposal

Consult with environmental regulatory agencies for guidance on acceptable disposal practices. Generators of waste containing this contaminant (≥100 kg/mo) must conform to EPA regulations governing storage, transportation, treatment, and waste disposal

Methyl chloroformate Preparation Products And Raw materials

Raw materials

Preparation Products

Methyl chloroformate Spectrum

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