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Diethyl pyrocarbonate

96% (NT)

Diethyl dicarbonate, DEPC, Diethyl oxydiformate, DEP, Ethoxyformic acid anhydride
Linear Formula:
CAS Number:
Molecular Weight:
EC Number:
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Quality Level

biological source

synthetic (microbial fermentation/ cell culture)


96% (NT)



refractive index

n20/D 1.398 (lit.)


93-94 °C/18 mmHg (lit.)


1.101 g/mL at 25 °C (lit.)

shipped in

wet ice

storage temp.


SMILES string




InChI key


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General description

Diethyl Pyrocarbonate (DEPC) is a chemical use to inactivate RNase enzymes and is sensitive to moisture and pH. It decomposes at 155°C, to ethanol and carbon dioxide in aqueous solution. DEPC is also sensitive to ammonia, which causes decomposition to urethane, a possible carcinogen.


Diethyl pyrocarbonate has been used in PCR reaction for treating deionized water, which reduces the risk of RNA being degraded by RNases. It is also used for Dot blot hybridization, to dilute total RNA isolated from different micro-organisms.
Modification reagent for His and Tyr residues in proteins. Robust probe for structural disruptions in dsDNA, reacting with fully or partially unstacked bases.


5, 25, 50, 100 mL in glass bottle

Biochem/physiol Actions

DEPC is a potent nuclease inhibitor.0.1% solution of DEPC is used to inactive RNase.
It inhibits the ryanodine binding to ryanodine/Ca2+ receptor channels in skeletal muscle in a dose and time dependent manner and increases the Ca2+ permeability of SR vesicles.
Inactivates RNase in solution at about 0.1% (v/v), thus protecting RNA against degradation.


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Hazard Statements

Precautionary Statements

Hazard Classifications

Acute Tox. 4 Oral

Storage Class Code

10 - Combustible liquids



Flash Point(F)

156.2 °F - closed cup

Flash Point(C)

69 °C - closed cup

Personal Protective Equipment

dust mask type N95 (US), Eyeshields, Gloves

Certificate of Analysis

Enter Lot Number to search for Certificate of Analysis (COA).

Certificate of Origin

Enter Lot Number to search for Certificate of Origin (COO).

  1. What is the stability of Product D5758, Diethyl pyrocarbonate, at room temperature?

    The material is stable at room temperature as long as it is protected from moisture.  We do recommend 2-8 °C for its storage.

  2. How can I tell if Product D5758, Diethyl pyrocarbonate, has degraded?

    DEPC breaks down to ethanol and carbon dioxide.  The carbon dioxide builds up pressure inside the bottle; when opened, it will degas and/or bubble out of the bottle.

  3. What buffers can I use with Product D5758, Diethyl pyrocarbonate (DEPC)?

    DEPC reacts with amines, thiols, and alcohols.  Any buffer that contains an amine, e.g.., Trizma, should not be used.  View this information on the product information sheet (under Documents, above.

  4. What type of container should I use to handle Product D5758, Diethyl pyrocarbonate (DEPC)?

    Glassware is preferable since some plastics, e.g.., polycarbonate, are known to react with DEPC.

  5. Why is stirring or shaking necessary when making RNAse-free water for use with Product D5758, Diethyl pyrocarbonate?

    DEPC is not very soluble in water. Stirring and/or shaking is necessary to suspend DEPC in water.

  6. What is the best way to use Product D5758, Diethyl pyrocarbonate, to inactivate RNAse?

    Add DEPC directly to the water to yield a 0.1 % solution.  Shake vigorously and allow to set overnight at room temperature with the lid loose or incubated for 2 hours at 37 °C.  The solution is then autoclaved 15 minutes for each liter.

  7. Which document(s) contains shelf-life or expiration date information for a given product?

    If available for a given product, the recommended re-test date or the expiration date can be found on the Certificate of Analysis.

  8. How do I get lot-specific information or a Certificate of Analysis?

    The lot specific COA document can be found by entering the lot number above under the "Documents" section.

  9. How do I find price and availability?

    There are several ways to find pricing and availability for our products. Once you log onto our website, you will find the price and availability displayed on the product detail page. You can contact any of our Customer Sales and Service offices to receive a quote.  USA customers:  1-800-325-3010 or view local office numbers.

  10. What is the Department of Transportation shipping information for this product?

    Transportation information can be found in Section 14 of the product's (M)SDS.To access the shipping information for this material, use the link on the product detail page for the product. 

  11. My question is not addressed here, how can I contact Technical Service for assistance?

    Ask a Scientist here.

H Perry-O'Keefe et al.
Journal of applied microbiology, 90(2), 180-189 (2001-02-13)
A method for rapid and simultaneous detection, identification and enumeration of specific micro-organisms using Peptide Nucleic Acid (PNA) probes is presented. The method is based on a membrane filtration technique. The membrane filter was incubated for a short period of
V Shoshan-Barmatz et al.
The Biochemical journal, 299 ( Pt 1), 177-181 (1994-04-01)
Exposure of junctional sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) membranes or purified ryanodine receptor to the histidine-specific reagent diethyl pyrocarbonate (DEPC) led to concentration- and time-dependent inactivation of ryanodine binding. The pH-dependence of the inactivation of ryanodine binding by DEPC and the reversal
Properties of mouse globin messenger ribonucleic acid and its preparation in milligram quantities.
R Williamson et al.
Biochemistry, 10(16), 3014-3021 (1971-08-03)
E C Williamson et al.
Journal of clinical microbiology, 39(1), 47-50 (2001-01-04)
Respiratory tract colonization with Scedosporium apiospermum in patients with chronic suppurative lung disease is a significant concern for lung transplantation candidates, since Scedosporium infections occurring posttransplantation are usually untreatable. Up to 10% of patients with cystic fibrosis attending our respiratory
A new method based on the use of diethyl pyrocarbonate as a nuclease inhibitor for the extraction of undegraded nucleic acid from plant tissues.
F Solymosy et al.
European journal of biochemistry, 5(4), 520-527 (1968-09-24)

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