Ethylene dichloride (EDC) is a clear, colourless, oily liquid with a sweet, pleasant chloroform-like odour. It is highly volatile, toxic, flammable and miscible with chlorinated hydrocarbons and most organic solvents. It reacts violently with aluminium, alkali metals, alkali amides, ammonia, bases, strong oxidants and attacks many metals in presence of water.
Around 95% of EDC is used inthe production of vinyl chloride monomer (VCM), nearly all of which goes intopolyvinyl chloride (PVC).
Other outlets for EDC are chlorinated solvents such as ethyleneamines, trichloroethylene, vinylidenechloride and trichloroethane. It is used as an intermediate in the production of perchloroethylene (tetrachloroethylene) and as a catalyst in hexachloropheneproduction.
EDC has been used as a solventin the textile, metal cleaning and adhesives industries. Solvent markets tendto be mature due to environmental pressures to reduce emissions and declining in the case of perchloroethylene.