trichloroacetic acid production, UPR, ecoinvent 3.6, Undefined

ISIC4 categories:
C:Manufacturing/20:Manufacture of chemicals and chemical products/201:Manufacture of basic chemicals, fertilizers and nitrogen compounds, plastics and synthetic rubber in primary forms/2011:Manufacture of basic chemicals
RER - Europe
Reference year: 2010 - 2010

Location: RER - Europe
The process “trichloroacetic acid, at plant, RER” is modelled for the production of trichloroacetic acid from acetic acid in Europe. Raw materials are modelled with a stoechiometric calculation. Emissions are estimated. Energy consumptions, infrastructure and transports are calculated with standard values.
Pure trichloroacetic acid (Cl3CCOOH ; CAS 76-03-9) forms hygroscopic, rhombohedral crystals that are extremely soluble in water and soluble in many organic solvents.

Trichloroacetic acid is produced on an industrial scale by chlorination of acetic acid or chloroacetic acid mother-liquors at 140 – 160 °C.
C2H4O2 + 3 Cl2 → C2HCl3O2 + 3 HCl
If necessary, calcium hypochlorite is added as a chlorination accelerator. There are conflicting views concerning adding heavy metal salts as chlorination catalysts. Examples of catalysts that have been used are iron and copper compounds, which are precipitated with sulfuric acid or phosphoric acid if decomposition of the reaction mixture occurs; 2 % phosphoric acid; and catalysts and UV light. Trichloroacetic acid has also been produced without catalysts.
The crude product, containing about 95 % trichloroacetic acid, is best isolated by crystallizing the melt, removing the mother-liquor with most of its impurities, and increasing the purity by centrifugation or recrystallization.

The main application for trichloroacetic acid is production of its sodium salt, which is used as a selective herbicide and in formulations with 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T preparations as a total herbicide.
Trichloroacetic acid also is employed as an etching or pickling agent in the surface treatment of metals, as a swelling agent and solvent in the plastics industry, as an albumin precipitating agent in medicine, as an auxiliary in textile finishing, and as an additive to improve high-pressure properties in mineral lubricating oils. Because it is strongly corrosive, trichloroacetic acid is used to remove warts and hard skin and to treat various skin afflictions. Trichloroacetic acid, particularly its esters, are important starting materials in organic syntheses. The acid undergoes numerous colour reactions that can serve to identify a wide range of organic compounds.

Frischknecht R., Jungbluth N., Althaus H.-J., Doka G., Dones R., Heck T., Hellweg S., Hischier R., Nemecek T., Rebitzer G. and Spielmann M. (2007) Overview and Methodology. Final report ecoinvent v2.0 No. 1. Swiss Centre for Life Cycle Inventories, Dübendorf, CH, retrieved from:

Gendorf (2000) Umwelterklärung 2000, Werk Gendorf. Werk Gendorf, Burgkirchen as pdf-File under:

Günter Koenig, Elmar Lohmar, Norbert Rupprich: Chloroacetic Acids. Published online: 2000. In: Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, Seventh Edition, 2004 Electronic Release (ed. Fiedler E., Grossmann G., Kersebohm D., Weiss G. and Witte C.). 7 th Electronic Release Edition. Wiley InterScience, New York, Online-Version under: DOI: 10.1002/14356007.a06_537

Undefined unit processes (UPRs) are the unlinked, multi-product activity datasets that form the basis for all of the system models available in the ecoinvent database. This is the way the datasets are obtained and entered into the database by the data providers. These activity datasets are useful for investigating the environmental impacts of a specific activity (gate-to-gate), without regard to its upstream or downstream impacts.


chlorination of acetic acid

Process type
Supported nomenclature
ecoinvent 3.6
LCI modeling approach
Before modeling
Multifunctional modeling
Aggregation type
Data provider
Review status
For sale

ecoinvent EULA