Chloroacetic acid is a compound with the formula C2H3ClO2 and a molecular weight of 94.5 grams per mole. It is a colorless or white crystalline solid that is corrosive and soluble in water.
Chloroacetic acid is used in the manufacture of several industrial items, including cellulose ethers. These are used in the production of detergents, food, pharmaceuticals and drilling fluids. Chloroacetic acid is used in the manufacture of dyes and synthetic caffeine, and the compound is used to create glycine, thioglycolic acid and other organic chemicals. The preparation of chloroacetic acid may be done through either the chlorination of acetic acid, with acetic anhydride as a catalyst, or the hydrolysis of trichloroethylene, using sulfuric acid as a catalyst.