The Lowest Boiling Point of Dichloromethane

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In the food industry, dichloromethane is used as a decaffeinating agent for coffee beans. It also works well as a blowing agent for polyurethane foams. A few applications in the garment printing industry include using it as an aerosol formulation.

Dichloromethane, or DCM, is a geminal organic compound with the chemical formula CH2Cl2. It has the lowest boiling point of all known chlorinated hydrocarbons. Compared to its counterparts, it is less hygroscopic and therefore suitable for heat engines.

Dichloromethane can be produced by heating methane to produce chlorohydrocarbons. The gas is then distilled to produce dichloromethane. As a solvent, it is used to remove paint and inks, as a degreaser, and as a blowing agent for synthetic foams.

Its low boiling point makes it a flammable gas. While it is not a carcinogen, its chronic exposure can cause liver and brain cancer. However, the US Clean Air Act does not regulate it as an ozone depleting substance.

The presence of dichloromethane in the atmosphere has been increasing in recent years. It is estimated to have contributed to ozone depletion in the stratosphere.

Some studies have shown that exposure to high concentrations of methylene chloride can cause burns, nausea, and dizziness. Exposure to higher concentrations may also result in death. This is because it can displace oxygen in a worker’s environment.

Because of its volatility, dichloromethane is often abbreviated as methylene chloride. Other names for it are tetrachloromethane and chloroform. Besides its uses as a solvent, methylene chloride is also known to be a mutagen.

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