Methylene Chloride: Properties, Structure & Uses

What is Methylene Chloride

Methylene chloride is an organic compound with the formula CH2Cl2, also referred to as dichloromethane. It is naturally found in oceanic sources, volcanoes, macro-algae, and wetlands. Industrial emission also adds to the majority of methylene dichloride presence in the environment. It is a popular industrial chemical used in a wide range of chemical and pharmaceutical applications.

Methylene chloride was first prepared in the year 1839 by a Frech chemist named Henri Victor Regnault, by isolating it from a mixture of chlorine and chloromethane. The isolation was carried out by exposing the mixture to sunlight. Today, methylene chloride can be prepared by treating methane or chloromethane with chlorine gas at 400–500 °C. The process goes through a series of reactions to produced chlorinated products such as methylene chloride, carbon tetrachloride, chloromethane, and chloroform. These compounds can be, further, separated by distillation process when methylene chloride can be obtained.

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Properties of Methylene Chloride

Methylene chloride is a colorless, volatile liquid with sweet, ether-like odor. It is generally a non-combustible compound but on exposure to higher temperature, it produces chloride fumes that are toxic. Methylene chloride is a polyhalogeno compound, ie, it is formed by the halogen group element. It is a highly reactive and toxic compound that is found to be carcinogenic.

AppearanceColorless liquid
Molecular weight84.93 g/mol
Density1.3266 g/cm3
Melting point−96.7 °C
Boiling point39.6 °C
SolubilityInsoluble in water but soluble in organic solvents

It is essential to take all the precautionary steps while working with methylene chloride. Inhalation can cause irritation in the nose and throat, repeated exposure to skin may cause irritation, defatting and dermatitis, and eye exposure can cause eye irritation. It is a neurotoxin, ie, causes damage to the central nervous system, and also causes possible, unexpected mutation. Higher levels of exposure have found to cause cancer in human and animals.

When working with the chemical, make sure to carry out the experiments is a well-ventilated space. Use all necessary PPE – proper clothing, protective gloves, safety glasses, and approved respirators. Use and maintain all procedures according to applicable standards and regulations. Keep the material in dry place away from moisture, and avoid high temperature near the material as it may release toxic chloride fumes.

Uses of Methylene Chloride

  • It is an organic solvent and used in several applications in laboratory and industrial scale
  • It is widely used as a paint remover
  • It is used as a propellant in aerosol formulation
  • It is used as a solvent in food industry
  • It is used in the manufacturing of electronics
  • It is used in pharmaceutical industry as a solvent in production of various drugs
  • It is used in chemical processing
  • It is used in foam manufacturing
  • It is used in metal cleaning

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Top Manufacturers of Methylene Chloride

The global methylene chloride market has witnessed a stagnant growth in the past few years, and scenario is expected to be the same in the coming years too, especially in North America and Europe. However, the Asia-Pacific region and the rest of the world are experiencing a high growth. The growth in these regions is due to booming industrial growth, growing end-use industries, and minimal regulations.

The growing pharmaceutical, chemical processing, and manufacturing activities in India, China, Japan, South Korea and South East Asia has alone accounted about 76% of the global share of methylene chloride market. The global methylene chloride market is which was about $708 million in 2015 has reached $892 million by 2020. The growing market in the Asia Pacific region will further increase the global market too for the chemical.

Key players on global methylene chloride market

  • Dow Chemical (U.S.)
  • Solvay S.A. (Belgium)
  • AkzoNobel N.V. (Netherlands)
  • Ineos (Switzerland)
  • Kem One (France)
  • Shin-Etsu (Japan)
  • Gujarat Alkalies & Chemicals Ltd. (India)
  • Ercros SA (France)

Where I Can Buy Methylene Chloride

Methylene chloride can be bought from any chemical manufacturer, supplier, or third-party dealer in India. This is the most common trend that is followed in the Indian chemical industry. This is the outdated method that all other countries have overcome, but a transformative change is still nascent in the Indian chemical industry. The process of physically finding a chemical seller near your location who can source the exact quality and quantity as per your requirement is a tedious and time-consuming job. That’s why the concept of digitization was introduced in the Indian chemical industry to remove the hassle of finding the chemical as per your requirement, so that you can focus on increasing the manufacturing and work on getting ROI. is India’s first and largest chemical bazaar that has changed the way companies/ research institutions buy chemicals. It is a unique platform that has united the chemical manufacturers, suppliers, dealers, and buyer across the country. Buyers no longer have to worry about the risk of unknown suppliers as Carbanio undergo a strict registration process to verify the sellers. Furthermore, for your peace of mind, it also ensures that the payment is released to the seller only after the chemical is received by the buyer, with all the requirements demanded by the buyer.

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