Carbon Tetrachloride Formula

Carbon Tetrachloride Formula

Carbon tetrachloride, also known as tetrachloromethane, is a chlorate solvent used as cleaning agent and as a solvent in the production of resins and coats.

Formula and structure: The carbon tetrachloride chemical formula is CCl4 and the molar mass is 153.81 g mol-1. The structure is tetrahedrical with one carbon atom at the center and 4 chlorine atoms bond to this atom. It can be a crystal at temperatures below -47 ºC. Its chemical structure can be written as below, in the common representations used for organic molecules.

Occurrence: Carbon tetrachloride is not found as occurring naturally.

Preparation: Carbon tetrachloride can be obtained through different methods, for example:

- By the reaction of chlorination of methane, which also produces other chlorides as CHCl3, CH2Cl2 and CH3Cl

- The reaction of pyrolysis of hexachloroethane.

- Through the Lummus oxychlorination process with natural gas and HCl in its gas form

- Using the reaction of sulfur monochloride with cabon disulfide.

Physical properties: Carbon tetrachloride is a colorless liquid with a sweet, ether-like odor, Its density is 1.5867 g mL-1. Carbon tetrachloride melting and boiling points are -22.92 ºC and 76, 7 ºC, respectively. It is not soluble in water, but it is soluble in ethanol, methanol, benzene, ether and hexane.

Chemical properties: Carbon tetrachloride is a non-polar molecule because its symmetrical structure formed by 4 C-Cl bonds. These bonds have dipolar vectors that are cancelled, resulting in a polarity of zero. Consequently, carbon tetrachloride is a solvent that can only be used to dissolve non-polar or low polarity compounds, such as fats and oils, thus it is used in the cleaning agents manufacturing.

Uses: Carbon tetrachloride is used to produce a wide variety of chemical compounds such as oils, lacquers, rubbers, resins and coats. It is also a solvent for some reactions in laboratory scale, however, its application is reduced due to it is poisoning by inhalation. Carbon tetrachloride is also used as cleaning agent and refrigerant in low concentrations.

Health effects / safety hazards: Carbon tetrachloride is toxic and poisoning by inhalation or ingestion. It can cause degeneration of liver and kidneys. Carbon tetrachloride is suspected to be a human carcinogen. It can also cause damage to eyes and it is harmful to animals and environments, it cause damage to the ozone layer as well.

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