Methyl chloroformate is the methyl ester of chloroformic acid. It is also known as methyl chlorocarbonate, and is an oily liquid with a colour that is anywhere from yellow to colorless. It is also known for its pungent odour. Methyl chloroformate, if heated, releases phosgene and produces toxic, corrosive fumes if it comes in contact with water.
Methyl chloroformate is used in organic synthesis for the introduction of the methoxycarbonyl functionality to a suitable nucleophile.
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