Is Ferric Chloride Flammable? 

This article will answer the question, is Ferric Chloride flammable? It also covers several topics about Ferric Chloride, its characteristics, applications, and the treatments to avoid fire ignition from Ferric Chloride exposure.

Is Ferric Chloride Flammable?

No. When heated, ferric chloride decomposes into corrosive and/or hazardous gases like hydrogen chloride and phosgene gas, but it does not burn. Hydrogen gas can be formed when ferric chloride reacts with metals.

What is Ferric Chloride?

Iron(III) chloride (FeCl3) is a chemical used to produce lines on PCBs (etchant) having the molecular formula FeCl3. Liquid ferrous chloride is a common name for this substance, frequently used to “create PCBs.” 

The octahedral Fe(III) centers of iron(III) chloride are coupled by two-coordinate chloride ligands in a BI3 structure.

Exothermic hydrolysis occurs when iron (III) chloride is dissolved in water (producing heat). An acidic, dark solution is made by this hydrolysis process, which is employed in sewage treatment and the manufacture of drinking water.

What are the Properties of Ferric Chloride?

In the reflected light, the hue of iron(III) chloride crystals is dark green, whereas it is purple-red in the emitted light. Due to the presence of HCl, which hydrates to generate a mist, iron(III) chloride is deliquescent, bubbling in wet air.

Chloride of iron(III) has a melting point and boils around 315 °C. Rather than decomposing into iron(II) chloride and chlorine gas, the vapor is a Fe2Cl6 dimer, which is more likely to decompose into FeCl3 monomers at higher temperatures.

Another property of Ferric Chloride is:

  • Formula: FeCl3
  • Molar mass: 162.2 g/mol – 270.3 g/mol 
  • Melting point: 306 °C
  • Boiling point: 315 °C
  • Color: Green-black by light reflection; purple-red by light transmission
  • Viscosity: 40% solution
  • Density: 2.898 g/cm3 – 1.82 g/cm
  • Solubility in water: 0.744 g/mL 

What are the Utilizations of Ferric Chloride?

Ferric chloride is used in several industries, including:

  • Ferric chloride is used for the treatment of industrial waste materials and the production of drinking water. 
  • It can also be used as a color remover in textiles to test the pitting and corrosion resistance of stainless iron, react with cyclopentadienyl magnesium bromide in ferrous preparations, and detect the presence of phenolic compounds in organic synthesis. 
  • In other sectors, such as laboratories, these compounds are used as catalysts for chlorinating aromatic compounds and different aromatic reactions.
  • Industrial water and wastewater treatment remove turbidity, color, suspended solids, and phosphoric refrigerant. 
  • In the laboratory, this compound is used as a catalyst for chlorinating aromatic compounds and other aromatic reactions.

What is the First Aid Treatment When Exposed to Ferric Chloride?

  • After you’ve inhaled it, get some fresh air. The best line of action is to treat the symptoms. If your symptoms don’t go away, see a doctor.
  • If you ingest it, seek medical attention right away. If a medical professional advises it, do not induce vomiting. 

Never give anything to a person who is unconscious of drinking. Keep your head down if you vomit to prevent stomach contents from entering your lungs.

  • If it comes into contact with your eye, irrigate it with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes. Remove your contact lenses if it is possible to do so. Medical treatment is required.
  • Use soap and water to thoroughly clean any contact with your skin. Consult a physician if discomfort continues despite washing.

What is the Fire Handling Method?

Although Ferric Chloride is not flammable, fires can still develop when this element is heated. Here are some procedures to take in the event of a fire:

  • Spray water over fire-exposed containers to keep them cool. Cool containers that have been exposed to flames with water until the fire has been extinguished
  • Do not inhale the gases if a fire or explosion happens
  • If it is safe, remove containers from the fire area
  • A flame-resistant coat, gloves, a helmet with a face shield, and rubber boots are all standard protection gear for firefighters
  • Directly poured water on fire will only spread it. The fire could produce caustic, unpleasant, and potentially dangerous gases

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How is the Storage Management of Ferric Chloride to Prevent Flame?

  • Keep in a well-ventilated environment
  • Metal containers should be avoided at all costs. Storage tanks can be made of fiberglass, plastic, or rubber
  • Protect yourself from harm and keep incompatible substances at a safe distance
  • Store in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Store in a secure location with limited access
  • Store in a cool and dry location
  • Handle and store in corrosive-resistant materials. Use FRP or PVC piping instead. Empty containers should be checked for the possible remnant of the chemical being kept


Ferric Chloride is categorized as a non-flammable chemical. However, health and safety procedures should be conducted to avoid dangers and risks when working with Ferric Chloride.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs): Is Ferric Chloride Flammable?

How to Clean Ferric Chloride When It Is Spilled?

Using an absorbent. The use of inert material to contain the spill should be followed by either recovery or disposal in a container clearly marked with the spill’s name and location. With soap and water, scrub the area well.

Is Ferric Chloride Light Sensitive?

Yes, it is light-sensitive. However, it is stable. This metal is incompatible with many common metals, as well as solid bases, potassium, and other alkali metals.


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