The Chemistry of Chloroform


    1. Chloroform is a colorless, sweet smelling, dense liquid; of mostly organic origin (Brown, red, and green seaweeds), but was first made in july of 1831 by, Samuel Guthrie. Then was independently made by Eugène Soubeiran in France, and Ludwig von Liebig in Germany.
    2. I chose Chloroform because, i’ve always found the qualities of Chloroform interesting, and i wanted to “Debunk” the common misconceptions about Chloroform.
    3. Chloroform has affected my life in many ways.
      1. It gave a large portion of my family that lived after 1834, cancer in some form
        1. it killed some of my family
    4. It created the possibility to make HCFC-22, a common refrigerant. and other products, me and my family used, when i was younger.

Composition of ...

      1. The main two components in Chloroform are
        1. Methane (CH4)


      1. Chlorine(Cl)
    1. Composition of Methane and Chlorine
      1. Methane, which is Tetrahydrocarbon by scientific terms has the Formula of CH4.
        1. Methane is the simplest alkane, and is the main component in natural gas
      2. Chlorine, has no common name, and has the atomic symbol as Cl
        1. Chlorine is the “backbone” of most salts and some minerals (I.e. Sylvite [KCl])
    2. Chloroform by itself has a chemical compound of CHCl3

Chemistry's Role

    1. Chemistry takes role in making and refining Chloroform.
      1. First they initially combine Methane and Chlorine (CH4 + Cl2 → CH3Cl + HCl), they break down or remove the Hydrochloric acid
      2. then they again combine the new compound with chlorine (CH3Cl + Cl2 → CH2Cl2 + HCl), and again break down or remove yet more Hydrochloric acid.
      3. They once more, combine the new compound with chlorine (CH2Cl2 + Cl2 → CHCl3 + HCl) and once more break down or remove the Hydrochloric acid
      4. in most case chloroform goes under one more stage of cloronation (CHCl3 + Cl2 → CCl4 + HCl) which they then distill to collect four different chloromethanes. chloromethane, dichloromethane, chloroform, and carbon tetrachloride.

Background Research

    1. Methane
      1. Methane, is naturally produced by the human body, decay of natural materials, and by geothermal area’s such as Yellowstone
        1. It also exists naturally in pockets, underground
        2. also made by man, during the cultivation of rice, fossil fuel production, biomass burning, waste activities, and Animal Husbandry
      2. Can be explosive, at levels as low as 5%
        1. Can displace oxygen
    2. Chlorine
      1. it was also used in WWI, as a biological weapon
        1. When in contact with soft tissue, it produces an acid, and is usually lethal
      2. Chlorine is used in pools as an antibacterial, used as a main component in the manufacturing of paper, as a pesticide, solvents, and used to make rubber
      3. Chlorine is made in a lab, by reaction of hydrochloric acid and manganese (IV) oxide. [4 HCl(aq) + MnO2(s)
      1. MnCl2(aq) + 2 H2O(g) +Cl2(g)]


What Chloroform is

what it’s made of

how it’s made in a lab

When it was first “made”

who named it

When it was used, and what for.

What it caused.

Chemical formula

technical name

what it’s used for

Chlorine’s atomic “Symbol”

what's used for

Uses for methane

what can produce it

what it can do


negative effects


How methane is produced by man.

About the Author

Zakk Winch is a Junior at Senior. He loves Science, but overall Chemistry, and love MLP:FIM.