This section is from the book "Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics", by W. Hale White. Also available from Amazon: Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics..
C2Hc13o+H2O=164.97. Synonym. - Chlora Hydrate.
Absolute Alcohol is saturated with dry Chlorine; Aldehyde and Hydrochloric Acid are first formed. C2H5OH+Cl2=C2H4O+2HCl. By the continued action of the Chlorine Gas 3 atoms of Hydrogen are abstracted from the Aldehyde and replaced by 3 atoms of Chlorine, producing Chloral. C2H4O+3Cl=C2HCl3O+3HCl. It is purified by Sulphuric Acid, and afterwards by Lime.
Separate, rhomboidal, colorless and transparent crystals, having an aromatic, penetrating and slightly acid odor, and a bitterish, caustic taste. Easily melted by gentle heat. Solubility. - Freely in water, Alcohol and Ether. Forms a liquid when rubbed up with an equal weight of camphor.
All alkalies decompose it.
Hydrochloric Acid and oily impurities.
Dose, 5 to 20 gr.; .30 to 1.20 gm.
The U. S. P. is in error in naming the crystalline product, as above described, chloral; it is actually chloral hydrate, for the molecule of water is necessary for crystallization. Chloral really is an oily liquid. Whenever chloral is mentioned in this book, chloral hydrate is intended.