Methylene - CH2

What is Methylene?

Methylene is a diatomic radicle forming ethers analogous to those of ethylene. The chemical formula of methylene is CH2. Methylene is a fluid like chloroform in appearance and odor, but differing in its boiling point and its specific gravity. Methylene was used as the name for methanol, which is wood alcohol, CH3OH, in the early 19th century. Methylene comes from methe + hyde the latter being the Greek word for wood, so methylene would mean wine from wood.

Other names – Dihydridocarbon, Carbene, Methylene, Methylene radical

CH2 Methylene
Density 0.98 g/mL at 25 °C
Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass 14.0266 g mol−1
Boiling Point 39.75 oC at 760 mm Hg
Chemical Formula CH2

Methylene Structure – CH2


Methylene Structure

Physical Properties of Methylene – CH2

Odour No odour
Appearance Colourless gas
Covalently-Bonded Unit 1
Molar entropy 193.93 J K−1 mol−1
Heavy Atom Count 1
Solubility Soluble in water

Chemical Properties of Methylene – CH2

    • Methylene reacts with atmospheric hydrogen forms saturated hydrocarbon methane. The chemical equation is given below.

CH2 + H2 → CH4

    • Methylene readily undergoes oxidation resulting in the formation of water and carbon monoxide. The chemical equation is given below.

CH2 + O2 → H2O + CO

Uses of Methylene – CH2

  • Methylene as methylene chloride is the active ingredient in many paint removers, including commercial and furniture strippers and home paint removers.
  • Methylene as methylene blue is used for a number of therapeutic and diagnostic procedures in human and veterinary medicine.
  • Methylene has been used as electroactive probe to cyclic voltammetric detection of chemical DNA.
  • Also used in the treatment of drug-induced and some forms of genetic methemoglobinemia.

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