Uses of Ethylene Dichloride.

Uses, Properties and Production of Ethylene Dichloride

What are the uses of Ethylene Dichloride? How is Ethylene dichloride produced? What are some of the properties of ethylene dichloride? Ethylene Dichloride also known as 1,2-dichloroethane is a chlorinated hydrocarbon.


Formula Of Ethylene Dichloride

The chemical formula of Ethylene Di chloride is C2H4Cl2, this chemical formula represents 2 atoms of carbon, 4 atoms of hydrogen and 2 atoms of chlorine.


Properties Of Ethylene Dichloride

– Appearance: Ethylene di chloride is a colourless liquid with a chloroform-like odour.

– Boiling Point: It has a boiling point of about 84 °C (183 °F; 357 K).

– Melting Point: It has a melting point of −35 °C (−31 °F; 238 K).

– Molar mass: It has a molar mass of 98.95 g·mol−1.

– Density: The density of Ethylene Di chloride is 1.253 g/cm3, liquid.

– Odor: It has a characteristic, pleasant chloroform-like odor.

– IUPAC Name: The IUPAC Name of Ethylene Di chloride is 1,2-Dichloroethane


Other names: Ethylene Dichloride is also known as:

– Ethylene chloride
– 1,2-DCE
– Ethane dichloride
– Dutch liquid, Dutch oil
Freon 150

 Viscosity: It has a Viscosity of 0.84mPa•s at 20°C.


 Elements in Ethylene dichloride:
• Carbon
• Hydrogen
• Chlorine

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 Solubility in water: 0.87 g/100 ml (20 °C)

 Compound type: It is a chlorinated hydrocarbon.

 Main hazards: Ethylene Dichloride is Toxic, flammable and carcinogenic.

 Flash points: It has a flashpoint of 13 °C (55 °F; 286 K).

 Explosive limits: It has an explosive limit of about


Uses Of Ethylene Dichloride

1. Ethylene Dichloride is used in vinyl chloride production, and vinyl chloride is used to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes, furniture and automobile upholstery, wall coverings, housewares, and automobile parts.
2. Ethylene Dichloride is also used generally as an intermediate for other organic chemical compound, and it also acts as a solvent. It forms azeotropes with many other solvents, including water.
3. Ethylene Dichloride is used as as a raw material in chemical production. In the past, ethylene dichloride was used as a thinner in paints, coatings and adhesives, a fumigant and as an additive in leaded fuels.


Production Of Ethylene Dichloride

As we have seen some of the uses of ethylene dichloride, let us examine now how this compound is produced. Ethylene Dichloride is made by the chlorination of ethylene through one of two processes: the first process is direct chlorination using pure chlorine and ethylene; and the second is oxychlorination in which ethylene reacts with chlorine in hydrogen chloride. Many Ethylene Dichloride/VCM plants make use of a combination of chlorination and oxychlorination to consume the hydrogen chloride by-product from the cracking of EDC to VCM.

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Direct chlorination is done in the liquid phase where the liquid chlorine and pure ethylene are reacted in the presence of ferric chloride, although other catalysts have been suggested. The reaction can take place at either a low (20-70oC) or high (100-150oC) temperature. The low temperature process has an advantage of low by-product formation but it requires more energy to get back the EDC. While the high temperature process utilises the heat of reaction present in the distillation of the EDC, leading to considerable energy savings.

In the oxychlorination process, pure ethylene and hydrogen chloride, mixed with oxygen, are reacted at 200-300oC and 4-6 bar in the presence of a catalyst called the cupric chloride. The reaction usually takes place in either a fluid bed or a fixed bed reactor, the fluid bed being preferred, because it is easier to control the temperature. The oxychlorination unit can use air or pure oxygen but the oxygen-based route is favoured on mostly environmental and efficient grounds.

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A new temperature direct chlorination process that claims to be pure and have more yields has been developed by VinTec, the technology licensing subsidiary of German PVC producer Vinnolit. In the direct chlorination ethylene dichloride is made through chlorination of ethylene in liquid EDC phase in one reactor. Conventional direct chlorination methods operate using FeCl3 as catalyst, causing a variety of highly chlorinated by-products.

The new catalyst called “Vinnolit” is an inorganic complex, which increases the velocity of chlorine-addition to ethylene. This positive effect is gotten over a wide temperature range. The catalyst is charged to the reactor before start-up or during normal operations. There is no catalyst consumption in a normal operation, and a refill is not required. The catalyst can also be used in a liquid-loop-reactor and also in a boiling reactor. The EDC produced has a quality which allows direct feed to the EDC cracker without any distillation.