A Publication
of Reliable Methods
for the Preparation
of Organic Compounds
Annual Volume
Org. Synth. 1961, 41, 104
DOI: 10.15227/orgsyn.041.0104
[Heptane, 1,1,1-trifluoro-]
Submitted by W. R. Hasek1
Checked by John E. Baldwin and John D. Roberts.
1. Procedure
Caution! Sulfur tetrafluoride is toxic. This procedure should be carried out in a good hood. The pressure vessel should be heated in a well-ventilated area.
Twenty-six grams (0.20 mole) of heptanoic acid is placed in a 145-ml. pressure vessel lined with Hastelloy-C (Note 1). The air in the vessel is displaced with nitrogen, and the head of the vessel is secured in place. The vessel is cooled in a bath of acetone and solid carbon dioxide, and the nitrogen in the vessel is evacuated with a vacuum pump to a pressure of 0.5–1.0 mm. Sixty-five grams (95% pure, 0.57 mole) of sulfur tetrafluoride (Note 2) is transferred to the cold vessel. This is conveniently done by connecting a cylinder containing 65 g. of sulfur tetrafluoride to the pressure vessel by a length of copper tubing having a 1/16-in. bore and 1/8-in. outside diameter (Note 3).
The pressure vessel is heated with agitation at 100° for 4 hours and at 130° for 6 hours. The vessel is allowed to cool to room temperature and the volatile by-products [ Caution! Toxic! (Note 4)] are vented. The crude, fuming, liquid product (Note 5) is poured into a stirred suspension of 10 g. of finely divided sodium fluoride in 60 ml. of pentane (Note 6), the mixture is filtered, and the filtrate is fractionated through a 6-in. Vigreux column. 1,1,1-Trifluoroheptane is collected at 100–101°/760 mm., nD25 1.3449. The yield is 21.7–24.6 g. (70–80%).
2. Notes
1. The pressure vessel should be lined with Hastelloy-C, stainless steel, or other metal resistant to attack by hydrogen fluoride, because the latter substance is a by-product of the reaction. The pressure vessel employed should be safe for use at 500 atm. pressure and should be equipped with a rupture disk rated at 500 atm. If the equipment available is rated for use only at lower pressure, the size of the charge should be reduced appropriately.
2. Directions for the synthesis of sulfur tetrafluoride by the action of sodium fluoride on sulfur dichloride in acetonitrile have been published,2 and a more detailed version of these directions appears in Inorganic Syntheses, 7, 119 (1963).
3. It is also possible to connect the supply cylinder of sulfur tetrafluoride to the pressure vessel by a short length of butyl rubber vacuum tubing.
If the supply cylinder of sulfur tetrafluoride contains more than 65 g., it may be placed on a balance in order to determine when the required amount has been transferred to the pressure vessel.
4. Since the volatile gases include sulfur tetrafluoride and thionyl fluoride, which possess toxicities comparable to that of phosgene, caution must be exercised in their disposal. A suitable procedure is to condense the volatile gases in a trap cooled in a mixture of acetone and solid carbon dioxide, and then to allow this material to pass slowly through an empty polyethylene bottle, which serves as a safety trap, and into a stirred aqueous potassium hydroxide solution.
5. If it is found necessary to retain the crude product for any period of time before working it up, it may be conveniently stored in a polyethylene bottle or other container resistant to attack by hydrogen fluoride.
6. As indicated above, the crude product contains hydrogen fluoride. The sodium fluoride disposes of this by-product by the reaction NaF + HF → NaHF2. An alternative procedure is to pour the crude product into water and to separate the product by extraction with pentane.
3. Discussion
1,1,1-Trifluoroheptane has been prepared only by the action of sulfur tetrafluoride on heptanoic acid.3
4. Merits of Preparation
The described procedure is useful for the preparation of a wide variety of compounds containing trifluoromethyl groups from the corresponding carboxylic acids.3 The yields are generally 60–90%. Some representative examples are listed in Table I. In the cases of the difunctional acids, only 0.1 mole of the compound should be used in the procedure.


B.P., °C.



92 (12 mm.)



107 (0.3 mm.)





















(m.p. 41–43°)

Carboxylic anhydrides and esters react with sulfur tetrafluoride to give the same products as the acids only at elevated temperatures, i.e., 200° to 300°.
This preparation is referenced from:

References and Notes
  1. Contribution No. 572 from the Central Research Department, Experimental Station, E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Co., Wilmington, Del.
  2. C. W. Tullock, F. S. Fawcett, W. C. Smith, and D. D. Coffman, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 82, 539 (1960).
  3. W. R. Hasek, W. C. Smith, and V. A. Engelhardt, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 82, 543 (1960); W. C. Smith, U.S. pat. 2,859,245 (1958).

Chemical Abstracts Nomenclature (Collective Index Number);
(Registry Number)

acetonitrile (75-05-8)

nitrogen (7727-37-9)

carbon dioxide (124-38-9)

hydrogen fluoride (7664-39-3)

acetone (67-64-1)

potassium hydroxide (1310-58-3)

phosgene (75-44-5)

Pentane (109-66-0)

sulfur dichloride (10545-99-0)

Heptanoic acid (111-14-8)

sodium fluoride (7681-49-4)

sulfur tetrafluoride (7783-60-0)

Heptane, 1,1,1-trifluoro- (693-09-4)

thionyl fluoride (7783-42-8)







2,4-Bis(trifluoromethyl)chlorobenzene (327-76-4)

p-Bis(trifluoromethyl)benzene (433-19-2)

p-Trifluoromethylnitrobenzene (402-54-0)