Trifluoroacetic acid ("TFA") is an organic chemical compound with a chemical formula of CF3CO2H. TFA comes in a liquid form that has a very sharp odor and is colorless. If desired, the compound may be converted to a dried form by adding trifluoroacetic anhydride.
A process known as electro fluorination of acetic anhydride and acetyl chloride industrially prepares TFA. Although the compound occurs naturally in seawater, it is present only in extremely small concentrations of less than 200 ng per liter.
The compound is widely utilized in organic chemistry applications. It is a popular strong aced used to synthesize various peptides and other synthetic organic compounds by removing the protective t-butoxycarbonyl chemical groups.
TFA is a common precursor chemical to numerous additional fluorinated chemical compounds. 2,2,2 -trifluoroethanol and trifluoroacetic anhydride are two notable examples.
It is also a frequent reagent used for organic syntheses due to an array of convenient natural properties. These include its 100,000-fold strength over acetic acid, excellent organic solvent solubility, volatility, and lower oxidation than sulfuric acid.