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methylene chloride[′meth·ə‚lēn ′klȯr‚īd]
CH2C12; a colorless liquid with an odor similar to that of chloroform. Boiling point, 40°C ; density, 1.3255 g/cm3 at 20°C . It is miscible with organic solvents; its solubility in water is 1.32 g per 100 g at 25°C . Methylene chloride reacts with water to form an azeotrope (boiling point, 38. TC; 98.5 percent CH2C12).
Methylene chloride is prepared commercially by chlorination of methane, which also produces methyl chloride and chloroform. It is used as a solvent for plastics, rubber, cellulose esters, and fats, as well as in the extraction of essential oils. Methylene chloride has a mild narcotic effect.