Trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) is the simplest stable perfluorinated carboxylic acid chemical compound, with the formula CF3CO2H. It is a strong carboxylic acid due to the influence of the electronegative trifluoromethyl group. TFA is almost 100,000-fold more acidic than acetic acid. TFA is widely used in organic chemistry.
TFA occurs naturally in sea water, but only in small concentrations (<200 ng/L). Therefore, TFA is prepared industrially by the electrofluorination of acetyl chloride and acetic anhydride, followed by hydrolysis of the resulting trifluoroacetyl fluoride.