Trifluoroacetic anhydride (TFAA)

Trifluoroacetic anhydride provides a convenient way to introduce a trifluoromethyl group into an organic compound. It is used in the production of agricultural and pharmaceutical molecules.

It is also used heavily in chromatography. TFAA is the most volatile and reactive of the anhydrides and it reacts with alcohols, amines, and phenols.


• Organic synthesis
• NMR solvent
• Strong acidity
• Trifluoromethyl group
• Gas chromatography
• Liquid chromatography

Suitable for

• Use as catalyst for a wide range of reactions including esterifications, condensations, and oxidations
• Esterification and transesterification promoter
• Promotes condensation reactions involving acyl groups and aromatic or unsaturated compounds
• Solvent for chromatography

Molecular Weight 210.02
Boiling Point 40°C
Melting Point -65°C
Density 1.49 g/cm3
Vapor Pressure 6 psi (20°C)
Appearance Colorless liquid
Odor Vinegar odor
Solubility in water Violently reacts with water to form water soluble trifluoroacetic acid

When reacted with a compound containing an active hydrogen it will yield a trifluoromethyl compound and trifluoroacetic acid as byproduct. It is an important agent in organic synthesis and is used in trifluoacylation reactions like o-acylation, n-acylation or c-trifluoro-acylation.


TFAA reacts violently with water and alkaline metals. Contact with the skin produces TFA and causes deep burns in a short time. To treat an accident, flush continuously with a tremendous excess of water as quickly as possible. Instant action will minimize the penetration and extent of injury but probably not stop some effects of a burn. Cover the area with sterile gauze and obtain medical treatment. Inhalation of acid fumes produces irritation typical of any strong acid. Ventilation or an air mask are recommended for any appreciable concentration.


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