DCA quality analysis

DCA packages

Four different suppliers of Sodium Dichloroacetate have been tested for toxic substances and other impurities. Chemical analysis results conclude that the purest Sodium Dichloroacetate is DCA-LAB. Products with the highest amounts of impurities are PureDCA and PharmaDCA, latter having the highest amount of toxic substances.


Sodium Dichloroacetate samples of four different suppliers examined:

Brand Company Product Lot/Batch number Expiration date
DCA-LAB Curaltus Ltd 25 gr. DCA Powder Lot No: D16-C1-2/25 March, 2018
Sigma-Aldrich Sigma-Aldrich Chemie GmbH 10 gr. DCA Powder LOT# STBD9074V -
Pharma DCA A.W.P. Ltd 20 gr. DCA Powder Batch No 01780 November, 2017
Pure DCA / theDCAstore - 20 gr. DCA Powder LOT: 72641 September, 2016


Anionic dichloroacetate composition measured using Ionic chromatograph.

590 mg of DCA powder is dissolved in 1 lliter of distilled water (H2O conductivity - 5 mkS). Thus obtained solutions, each contained 590 mg/l sodium dichloroacetate, equivalent to 500 mg of dichloroacetate anion in 1 liter of water.

Prepared solutions (590 mg/l) examined using ionic chromatograph through an anionic column. The column and detector standardly calibrated for fluoride, chloride, nitrite, bromide, nitrate, phosphate, sulfate anions, additionally calibrated for dichloroacetate (Cl2CH-COO-), monochloroacetate (ClCH2-COO-), glyoxylate (OCH-COO-) for anions and identification peaks determined other potential impurities: glycolate (HOCH2-COO-), oxalate (-OOC-COO-) anions.

Results are presented in the table ranked from best to worst:

Rank Brand Dichloroacetae
concentracion, mg/l
anion, mg/l
anion, mg/l
anion, mg/l
Glycolate anion Oxalate anion Chloride anion
1 DCA-LAB 590 500.93 0.09 - - Traces Traces
2 Sigma-Aldrich 590 501.09 0.35 - - Traces Traces
3 Pure DCA 590 446.85 0.36 0.21 Visible peak Visible peak Visible peak
4 Pharma DCA 590 484.26 1.40 - - Visible peak Visible peak

Note: Chloride anion gives a peak of 0,45 µS with a standalone water sample, it is not assessed quantitatively; it is certain that Sigma Aldrich and DCA-LAB products have an insignificant amount of chloride anion.

Anion chromatography charts of every product:
Pure DCA
Pharma DCA


Volatile halogenated hydrocarbons (Determination of highly volatile halogenated hydrocarbon) of DCA solution measured with HS-GC chromatograph.

590 mg of DCA powder is dissolved in 1 lliter of distilled water (H2O conductivity - 5 mkS). 5 ml of the obtained solution is diluted  to 500 ml (100 times), resulting in solution that contains 5,9 mg/l of sodium dichloroacetate, which is equivalent to 5 mg dichloroacetate anions in 1 liter of water.

Prepared DCA solutions (5,9 mg/l) are examined via HS-GC method, heating the solution at  90 oC temperature. This method allows to precisely examine the amount of dissolved halogenated hydrocarbons in an aqueous solution: chloroform, bromdichlormetan, chlordibrommetan, bromoform, trichloreten, tetrachloreten, at a concentration between 0.1 μg/l and 2 μg /l.

The results are presented in the table ranked from best to worst:

Rank Brand Dichloroacetae
concentracion, mg/l
Chloroform, µg/l Bromodichloromethane, µg/l Chlorodibromomethane, µg/l Bromoform, µg/l Trichloroethene, µg/l Tetrachloroethene, µg/l
  Distilled water 0 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10
1 DCA-LAB 5,9 0.10 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10
2 Pure DCA 5,9 0.13 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10
3 Sigma-Aldrich 5,9 0.46 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10
4 Pharma DCA 5,9 0.63 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10 <0.10

HS-GC charts of every product:
Pure water
Pure DCA
Pharma DCA


Summarized results of the Anionic chromatography and HS-GC (Headspace Gas chromatography) presented in the table ranked from best to worst. Table displays dichloroacetate amount (%) and amounts of measured impurities: toxic monochloroacetate (ppM), toxic chloroform (ppM) and other impurities (glycolate, glyoxilate, oxalate, chloride) and H2O amount (%). Visual evidence of mechanical impurities is assessed.

Rank Brand DCA amount
advertised, %
DCA amount
determined, %
anion amount, ppM
amount, ppM
Other impurities
+ H2O, %
1 DCA-LAB 99 99,98 153 17 0,00 Traces
2 Sigma-Aldrich 98 99,93 593 78 0,00 Traces
3 Pure DCA 99 89,35 610 22 10.58 Strongly noticealbe
4 Pharma DCA 99 96,83 2373 107 2.92 Strongly noticealbe


  1. Sodium Dichloroacetate from DCA-LAB and Sigma-Aldrich matches parameters advertised by the supplier.
  2. Sodium Dichloroacetate from PureDCA and PharmaDCA do not match advertised parameters.
  3. Purest Sodium Dichloroacetate is DCA-LAB.
  4. Sodium Dichloroacetate with most impurities is from PureDCA and PharmaDCA.
  5. Sodium Dichoroacetate from PharmaDCA has highest amounts of toxic substances.