| Share
 

phosgene

phosgene (fŏsˈjēn) [key], colorless poison gas, first used during World War I by the Germans (1915). When dispersed in air, the gas has the odor of new-mowed hay. The gas is highly toxic; when inhaled it reacts with water in the lungs to form hydrochloric acid and carbon monoxide. Because the upper respiratory tract is little affected, warning signs of exposure are slight, and symptoms may fail to appear for from 2 to 24 hours after exposure. However, the release of hydrochloric acid in the lungs causes pulmonary edema and may also cause bronchial pneumonia and lung abscesses; in severe cases death may result within 36 hours. Phosgene is now used in chemical synthesis. It may be prepared by the reaction of carbon monoxide with chlorine in the presence of a catalyst or by the oxidation of chloroform or carbon tetrachloride. Phosgene has the formula COCl2.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on phosgene from Infoplease:

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Organic Chemistry


Premium Partner Content
HighBeam Research
Documents Images and Maps Reference
(from Newspapers, Magazines, Journals, Newswires, Transcripts and Books)

Research our extensive archive of more than 80 million articles from 6,500 publications.

Additional search results provided by HighBeam Research, LLC. © Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring