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ethyl chloride[¦eth·əl ′klȯr‚īd]
(also chloroethane), C2H5Cl, a colorless, highly volatile liquid with an ethereal odor.
Ethyl chloride has a boiling point of 12.5°C, a melting point of – 140.85°C, and a density of 0.903 g/cm3 at 15°C. Poorly soluble in water, it is soluble in most organic solvents. It is flammable, and its explosive limits in air are 3.8 and 15.4 percent by volume.
Ethyl chloride may be produced by the reaction of ethylene with hydrogen chloride or by the thermal, catalytic, or photochemical chlorination of ethane. Ethyl chloride is used as a solvent for phosphorus, sulfur, fats, and oils and as an ethylating agent in the production of tetraethyllead and ethylcellulose. In medicine it is used as an anesthetic.