Inversion dimers dominate the crystal packing in the structure of trimethyl citrate (trimethyl 2-hydroxypropane-1,2,3-tricarboxylate).

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • External authors:
  • Rami Y. Morjan
  • Said M. El-Kurdi
  • Jannat N. Azarah
  • Neda A. Eleiwa
  • Omar S. Abu-Teim
  • Adel M. Awadallah
  • James Raftery


Trimethyl citrate, C9H14O7 (systematic name: trimethyl 2-hy­droxy­propane-1,2,3-tri­carboxyl­ate), 2, was prepared by the esterification of citric acid and methanol in the presence of thionyl chloride at 273 K. The bond lengths and angles in 2 compare closely with those observed in citric acid. The C—C bonds adjacent to the terminal carboxyl groups are significantly shorter than those around the central C atom. The central carboxyl­ate group and the hy­droxy group occur in the normal planar arrangement with an r.m.s. deviation of 0.0171 Å from the mean plane involving all six atoms in the central unit. The crystal structure is almost completely dominated by the formation of inversion dimers through an O—H...O hydrogen bond, together with an extensive array of weaker C—H...O contacts. These generate a three-dimensional network structure with mol­ecules stacked along the c-axis direction.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Crystallographica E: Crystallographic communications
Publication statusPublished - 2018