Ethylene Chlorohydrin

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ethylene chlorohydrin

[′eth·ə‚lēn klȯr·ə′hī·drən]
(organic chemistry)
ClCH2CH2OH A colorless, poisonous liquid, boiling at 129°C; used as a solvent and in organic synthesis. Also known as chloroethyl alcohol.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ethylene Chlorohydrin


(also 2-chloroethyl alcohol), ClCH2CH2OH, a colorless liquid with a weak ethereal odor.

Ethylene chlorohydrin has a melting point of -67.5°C, a boiling point of 128.8°C, and a density of 1.202 g/cm3 at 20°C. Miscible in all proportions with water, it is soluble in most organic solvents. It forms an azeotropic mixture with water, toluene, and cyclohexane. The mixture with water, whose ethylene chlorohydrin content is 41 percent, has a boiling point of 98°C.

The most important property of ethylene chlorohydrin is its capacity to give up H+ and Cl, as described by the equation

This reaction, which was discovered by C. Wurtz in 1859, serves as the basis for a method of producing ethylene oxide. Ethylene chlorohydrin itself is produced industrially by the hypochlorination of ethylene according to the reaction

CH2═CH2 + Cl2 + H2)→C1CH2CH2OH + HCl

It is prepared in the laboratory by the addition of hydrogen chloride to ethylene oxide.

Ethylene chlorohydrin readily dissolves many organic substances, including cellulose acetate and ethylcellulose, but its use as a solvent is extremely limited because of its toxicity. The maximum permissible concentration of ethylene chlorohydrin vapor in the air is 0.5 mg/m3.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.