Methylene chloride is a colourless liquid which has especially high solvent power. It is capable of dissolving a wide range of organic compounds and its high volatility makes it suitable for the extraction of temperature-sensitive materials.
Synonyms: 4-(dicyanomethylene)-2-methyl-6-(julolidin-4-YL-vinyl)-4H-pyran, dichloromethane, DCM, methylene bichloride, methylene dichloride, aerothene
Applications of Methylene Chloride
Methylene chloride is used where a high-grade solvent is required, making it a versatile chemical with a wide number of applications. It is used as a solvent and extraction agent for oils, waxes, lubricants, resins, cellulose ester and caffeine as well as being used in the textile, leather, plastics, pharmaceuticals, metal-working and food industries.
Methylene chloride is highly efficient as a solvent and propellant component in sprays. It is also used as a component in paint and varnish removers for professional use only, the use in consumer products having been forbidden in the EU since 2006. It is also employed in the manufacture of photographic film, in adhesives, in metal degreasing agents and in removal agent formulations for the production of polyurethane foam.
Storage and Handling
Methylene chloride is non-flammable, but due to its highly volatile nature, extreme caution must be exercised during application and handling. Appropriate working practices and training programmes must be in place. Direct contact with methylene chloride can cause burns to the skin and eyes. Acute exposure to the material may provoke adverse reactions of the central nervous system, blood and respiratory system. It is imperative that relevant controls pertaining to ventilation are implemented and that personal protective equipment such as goggles, face shields, protective clothing and gloves and respirators are worn as appropriate to the task being carried out.