What is Tetrachloroethylene?
Tetrachloroethylene is a volatile chlorinated organic hydrocarbon that is widely used as a solvent with the chemical formula C2Cl4. It is non-flammable liquid at room temperature, evaporates easily into the air and has a sharp sweet odour. Tetrachloroethylene, introduced in 1925, replaced the more toxic carbon tetrachloride as the standard drug for the treatment of infection with chlorine. Tetrachloroethylene is used as the displacement liquid because of its desirable rate of evaporation, which allows excellent control of the evaporation step.
Other names – Tetrachloroethene, Perchloroethylene, Perchlorethylene
|Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass||165.83 g/mol|
|Boiling Point||121.1 °C|
|Melting Point||-19 °C|
Tetrachloroethylene Structure – C2Cl4
Physical Properties of Tetrachloroethylene – C2Cl4
|Appearance||Clear colourless volatile liquid|
|Heat capacity||146 J/(mol K) at 25°C|
|Solubility||Soluble in water|
Chemical Properties of Tetrachloroethylene – C2Cl4
- Tetrachloroethylene dissolves in water forms dichloromethane and oxygen. The chemical equation is given below.
C2Cl4 + 2H2O → 2CH2Cl2 + O2
- Tetrachloroethylene reacts with base like sodium hydroxide resulting in the formation of formic acid and sodium chloride.
4NaOH + C2Cl4 → 2HCO2H + 4NaCl
Uses of Tetrachloroethylene – C2Cl4
- Tetrachloroethylene is used primarily as a cleaning solvent and as a chemical precursor for fluorocarbons.
- It is an anthelmintic used chiefly in the treatment of hookworm infestation.
- Used in transformers, paint removers, inks, adhesive formulations, paper coatings and leather treatments as an insulating fluid and cooling gas in aerosol formulations.
- Used commercially important chlorinated hydrocarbon solvent and chemical intermediate in the production of chlorofluorocarbons.
To learn more about this compound and other chlorine-containing compounds, such as dichloromethane, download BYJU’S – The Learning App.