Definition - What does Trichloroethane mean?

This is a synthetic or chemical organic substance that is organochloride in nature. It is colorless and has a sweet smell. It is used as an intermediate in the synthesis of organic compounds like 1, 1-dichloroethane; solvent degreasing components; and additive in the aerosol and textile industry. It is extensively used in household products.

Corrosionpedia explains Trichloroethane

Trichloroethane does not occur naturally, so it is synthetically made in the labs. Since it is volatile organic compound, it is known to evaporate quickly from the water; it does not bio-accumulate. Under natural conditions, it is non-flammable and burns to vapor at high temperatures.

It commonly occurs in two forms or isomers commonly known as 1, 1, 1-trichloroethane and 1, 1, 2-Trichloroethane. It is scientifically classified as chloroethanes, where the ethane is substituted by chloro-groups and the position of these substitutions form the isomers: it falls in the chlorinated alkanes family.

In a natural state, it is a colorless and non-viscous liquid and it is detected by its sweet odor, which is distinct and powerful. Inhibitor systems are used in conjunction with trichloroethane in cleaning applications to prevent its reaction with metal substrates.

The organic substance rarely dissolves in water, but it is observably soluble in most solvents. It is produced by the action of chlorine on 1, 1-dichloroethane and commercially produced through the following processes:

  • Chlorination of ethane
  • Hydrochlorination of vinyl chloride
  • Hydrochlorination of 1, 1-dichloroethylene
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