The color of aluminum chloride ranges from white to gray, yellow or light green, depending on its purity. While aluminum chloride features a white color when pure, it becomes yellow when contaminated with other compounds, such as iron trichloride. It may also turn gray or yellow when exposed to moisture.
Aluminum chloride has the molecular formula AlCl3 and appears in the form of a powder or as hexagonal crystals. It has a pungent odor of hydrogen chloride and volatilizes when heated in small amounts.
Aluminum chloride is soluble in chloroform, benzene and several other organic solvents. It reacts violently in the presence of water or air moisture, participating in a reaction that produces hydrogen chloride.