Perchloroethylene, also known as Tetrachloroethylene, is a chlorocarbon with the formula Cl2C=CCl2. It is a colorless liquid that is commonly known as "dry-cleaning fluid".
Perchloroethylene can be manufactured by either of these processes:
1) Direct chlorination of certain hydrocarbons: This process involves the reaction of chlorine with a hydrocarbon such as methane, ethane, propane, or propylene at high temperatures, with or without a catalyst. A chlorinated derivative of a hydrocarbon may also be used. The reaction forms a crude product, which can be purified to yield a marketable grade of perchloroethylene. This is easier and more economical than the acetylene process. In addition, the hydrocarbon wastes from other processes can subsequently be used as feedstocks for this process. However, large quantities of hydrogen chloride can be produced.
2) Chlorination of ethylene dichloride: This process involves noncatalytic chlorination of ethylene dichloride or other C2 chlorinated hydrocarbons.
3) Oxychlorination: The oxychlorination of ethylene via ethylene dichloride process is widely used to coproduce trichloroethylene and perchloroethylene. The product mix can be varied by adjusting the ratio of ethylene dichloride to chlorine. The buildup of hydrogen chloride is controlled by oxidation of the hydrogen chloride that is formed. The reaction involves the simultaneous oxychlorination/ dehydrochlorination with either chlorine or anhydrous hydrogen chloride as the chlorine source.
Perchloroethylene is a component of chemical masking formulation used to protect surfaces from chemical etchings.
It is used as a precursor in the production of chlorofluorocarbons.
Dry Cleaning Fluid
It is widely used for dry cleaning of fabrics.
Dyes & Inks
Perchloroethylene is used as a solvent carrier in dyes and printing inks and as an extraction medium.
Perchloroethylene is used in the production of paint removers.
It is used in the finishing and processing of textiles as a spotting agent for the removal of spinning oils and lubricants.
Perchloroethylene is used as a carrier for solvents for fabric finishes, rubber, silicones and adhesives. It is used in car care products, stain removers, adhesives and wood cleaners.