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diethylene dioxide, a cyclic ether. It is a colorless, mobile liquid with an ethereal odor, Melting point, 11.8°C; boiling point, 101.3°C; density, 1.03375 g/cm3; index of refraction n2DO, 1.42241; flash point, 5°C (in a closed cup); explosion limits in air, 1.97-22.5 percent by volume. It is miscible with water, alcohol, and ether; it forms an azeotrope with water (boiling point, 87.8°C; 81.6 percent dioxane).
In industry, dioxane is made from ethylene glycol (1), Chlorex (2), or ethylene oxide (3):
In many processes, dioxane is used as a good solvent for such substances as cellulose acetate, petroleum and plant oils, and dyes. It is comparatively toxic. The highest permissible concentration of dioxane in air is 0.01 mg per liter.