A colourless fuming liquid, BCl3, which reacts with water to give hydrogen chloride and boric acid; r.d. 1.349; m.p. –107°C; b.p. 12.5°C. Boron trichloride is prepared industrially by the exothermic chlorination of boron carbide at above 700°C, followed by fractional distillation. An alternative, but more expensive, laboratory method is the reaction of dry chlorine with boron at high temperature. Boron trichloride is a Lewis acid, forming stable addition compounds with such donors as ammonia and the amines and is used in the laboratory to promote reactions that liberate these donors. The compound is important industrially as a source of pure boron (reduction with hydrogen) for the electronics industry. It is also used for the preparation of boranes by reaction with metal hydrides.