Aluminum chloride (AlCl3), also known as aluminum trichloride, describes compounds with the formula AlCl3(H2O)n (n = 0 or 6). They consist of aluminum and chlorine atoms in a 1:3 ratio, and one form also contains six waters of hydration. Both are white solids, but samples are often contaminated with iron(III) chloride, giving a yellow color.
The anhydrous material is important commercially. It has a low melting and boiling point. It is mainly produced and consumed in the production of aluminum metal, but large amounts are also used in other areas of the chemical industry. The compound is often cited as a Lewis acid. It is an example of an inorganic compound that reversibly changes from a polymer to a monomer at mild temperature.
- Aluminum chloride is mainly used in Friedel-crafts reactions, such as the preparation of anthraquinones from benzene and phosgene, and in the dyeing and finishing industry.
- Aluminum chloride is widely used in organic chemistry. It catalyzes the Ene reaction
- ALCL3 is also commonly used in hydrocarbon polymerization and isomerization, and important examples include the industrial production of ethylbenzene.
- Used as a catalyst for organic syntheses, such as petroleum cracking, synthetic dyes, synthetic rubber, synthetic detergents, pharmaceuticals, perfumes, etc.
- Used for the manufacture of pesticides, organic aluminum compounds, phthalocyanine catalyst for organic pigments, ethylbenzene manufacturing catalyst;
- For metal smelting, lubricating oil synthesis;
- Food grade products used as a leavening agent, sake and other anti-discoloration agents and pectin flocculant;
- Used as analytical reagent, antiseptic and mordant.