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IUPAC name Antimony hypochlorite
Molecular formula SbOCl
Molar mass 173.21 g/mol
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state
(at 25 °C, 100 kPa)

Infobox disclaimer and references

Algarot, is a white emetic powder formerly used in alchemy that consists of a compound of trichloride and trioxide of antimony. It was used as an emetic because it purges violently both upwards and downwards.

Alternative names

Algarot is also known as mercurius vitæ ("mercury of life"), emetic powder, powder of algaroth, algarel, antimonious oxychloride, or antimony hypochlorite.


Historically, algarot was prepared of butter of antimony (antimony trichloride), which was no more than the regulus (purified metal) of that mineral, dissolved in acids, and separated again by means of several lotions with lukewarm water, which absorbed those acids. By collecting all the lotions and evaporating two third parts, what remained was a very acid liquor, called "Spirit of Philosophical Vitriol".

At present, algarot is synthesised by exposing antimony trichloride to water, like so:

SbCl3 + H2O → SbOCl + 2HCl


    Chambers, Ephraim (1728), ,

    This article incorporates content from the 1728 Cyclopaedia, a publication in the public domain.

    This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Algarot". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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