Dichloroacetic Acid or DCA which we sometimes refer to as bichloroacetic acid (BCA). It is an acid analogue of acetic acid. Similar to other chloroacetic acids it has various useful applications. Furthermore, dichloroacetates are its salts and esters. Also, scientists studied the salts of DCA as potential drugs because they inhibit the enzyme pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase. Learn Dichloroacetic Acid Formula here.
Dichloroacetic Acid Formula and structure
The chemical compound of dichloroacetic acid is CHCl2COOH and its molecular formula is C2H2CL2O2. In addition, its molar mass is 128.94 g/mol. Being an organochlorine compound of acetic acid, in it, 2 of 3 hydrogen atoms of the methyl group have been substituted by chlorine atoms.
Occurrence of Dichloroacetic Acid
In nature, it occurs in asparaguses taxiformis seaweed. Also, it has a role as an astringent and a marine metabolite. Moreover, it is a monocarboxylic acid and an organochlorine compound. We can derive it from acetic acid and it is the conjugate acid of a dichloroacetate.
Properties of Dichloroacetic Acid
It is a colourless crystalline solid which has a strong odor. Its melting point is 9.44 oC. Also, it mixes easily with water and is corrosive to metal and tissues. Its density is 1.56 g/cm3.
Uses of Dichloroacetic Acid
We use both DCA and TCA for cosmetic treatments (as tattoo removal and chemical peels) and as a topical medication for the chemoablation of growths that includes genital warts. But it can kill normal cells as well. Furthermore, a randomized precise experiment in children with congenital lactic acidosis found that while DCA was well tolerated, and it was effective in improving clinical outcomes.
Most noteworthy, a separate experiment of DCA in children with MELAS (a syndrome of insufficient mitochondrial function that leads to lactic acidosis) was frozen early. However, all the 15 children that receive DCA experienced significant nerve toxicity without any evidence of benefits from the medication.
In addition, we use DCA to make other chemicals and also in medication. Its small amounts form when we purify water with chlorine. We know them as haloacetic disinfection byproducts. Moreover, Doctors use it as an agent in chemotherapy for skin cancer in humans. As well scientist is studying its use in treating diabetes.
Health and safety hazards of Dichloroacetic Acid
Those who use dichloroacetic acid may breathe in vapors or have direct skin contact. Also, the general population may be exposed by vapors, consumption of water, swimming pools, and dermal contact. Moreover, some people came in contact using medications that contain dichloroacetic acid.
However, it somehow dichloroacetic acid releases in the air then the sunlight break it down. Also, it will move into the air from water and moist soil and water but it moves into the air by dry soil. Also, we expect it to move through the soil. The microorganisms break it down in certain conditions.
Its reported side effects in humans are nervous system toxicity (peripheral nerve damage, muscle weakness, and sedation). Most noteworthy, in two children going through lactic acidosis impaired liver function, was reported. A study in women relating to post-menopausal was experimental between kidney cancer and exposure to dichloroacetic acid or other disinfection by-production.
In laboratory animals, it causes severe eye irritation. Furthermore, scientists observe that it causes damage to the lungs, liver, pancreas, kidney, brain, etc. in tests that they conduct in the lab on laboratory animals whom they give low to moderate oral doses over time.
Solved Example for You
Question: How to prepare dichloroacetic acid by hydrolysis of trichloroacetic acid?
Solution: The reaction is:
ClHC=CCl2 + 2H2O → CHCl2COOH + 2HCl
Explanation: In this reaction, the trichloroacetic acid reacts with water to form dichloroacetic acid and hydrochloric acid.