Phosgene / COCl₂


Gas Identification

Other denomination
Methanoyl dichloride, Carbonyl chloride, Carbonyl dichloride
CAS Registry Number
SCBA type

Chemical properties

Molecular formula
Molecular mass
98,9 g/mol

Physical properties

Boiling point
8 °C
Autoignition temperature
Gas/Vapour density
11,55 eV

Flammability limit


Threshold limit value

0,02 ppm • 0,08 mg/m³
0,5 ppm • 0,4 mg/m³

Phosgene : Description and use


Phosgene, also called methanoyl dichloride, carbon oxychloride or carbonyl dichloride, is an inorganic compound of the oxychloride family. It is a very toxic gas at ambient temperature, and it is a chemical weapon and warfare gas of the choking agent variety (like dichlorine, hydrogen sulphide or diatomic bromine). Despite what its name may lead us to believe, phosgene does not have any phosphorus atoms and thus does not belong to the family of organophosphorus compounds, where we can find nerve gases such as sarin.
It is a colourless, liquefied-compressed gas with a characteristic odour.

Flammability: This product is not flammable.

  • Chemical industry: to produce polymers, including polyurethanes and polycarbonates
  • Pharmaceutical industry: to produce isocyanates and acyl chlorides
  • To manufacture detergents and pesticides
  • To separate metals such as aluminium and uranium from their ores, but this technique is not widely used.

Phosgene : Warnings and caution

GHS hazard statements

H314 - Causes severe skin burns and eye damage.
H330 - Fatal if inhaled.

GHS precautionary statements

P101 - If medical advice is needed, have product container or label at hand.
P103 - Read label before use.
P280 - Wear protective gloves/protective clothing/eye protection/face protection.
P305+P351+P338 - IF IN EYES: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do. Continue rinsing.
P390 - Absorb spillage to prevent material damage.
P301+P330+P331 - IF SWALLOWED: rinse mouth. Do NOT induce vomiting.
P302+P352 - IF ON SKIN: Wash with plenty of soap and water.

SGH04 : Gaz sous pression
SGH06 : Toxique
SGH05 : Corrosif