Structure of 1,2-dichloroethane
| IUPAC name
| Other names
|Molar mass||98.954 g/mol|
|Melting point||−35 °C (−31 °F; 238 K)|
|Boiling point||84 °C (183 °F; 357 K)|
|0.87 g/100 ml (20 °C)|
|Solubility||Miscible with alcohols, ethers, ketones|
|Safety data sheet||Sigma-Aldrich|
|Flash point||13 °C (55 °F; 286 K)|
|Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):|
LC50 (Median concentration)
| 3,000 ppm (guinea pig, 7 hr)|
1,000 ppm (rat, 7 hr)
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
1,2-dichloroethane, or ethylene dichloride, is a common solvent and reagent, going by the abbreviations EDC and 1,2-DCA. It is also used to make vinyl chloride, the major precursor to polyvinyl chloride, commonly known as PVC.
Ethylene dichloride is colorless and has a high index of refraction, giving it a shiny appearance, similar to chloroform, which it also shares a similar smells. It is a versatile solvent, though it does form azeotropes with water and many other solvents.
1,2-Dichloroethane is mostly bought from chemical suppliers rather than ordinary retail stores due to its inherent dangers. In some countries, however, it is sold in hobby stores with no questions asked as a solvent for fusing plastic parts to each other, most often mixed with various hydrocarbons. You can purify the compound from the mixture via fractional distillation.
1,2-Dichloroethane can be prepared by bubbling chlorine through ethylene solution (e.g. dissolved in carbon tetrachloride) with a iron(III) chloride catalyst, or bubbling oxygen through a solution of 1 molar part ethylene to four molar parts hydrochloric acid with a copper(II) chloride catalyst. The first procedure produces pure 1,2-dichloroethane, while the second results in water as well.
- Ethylenediamine synthesis
- Make PVC
Ethylene dichloride is toxic (by inhalation), flammable, and a carcinogen. All these hazards are amplified by the chemical's volatile nature. This chemical is also unstable when in the presence of aluminium, zinc and iron.
Dichloroethane should be stored in closed amber glass bottles, in dark well ventilated places.
Dichloroethane can be neutralized by reducing it with a metal over the course of several days or with Fenton's reagent. Both processes release heat, which may volatilize some dichloroethane. This should be performed in a fume hood or outside.