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Skeletal formula of 2-chloroethanol
Ball and stick model of 2-chloroethanol Spacefill model of 2-chloroethanol
CAS number 107-07-3 YesY
PubChem 34
ChemSpider 21106015 YesY
EC number 203-459-7
UN number 1135
KEGG C06753 YesY
MeSH Ethylene+Chlorohydrin
ChEBI CHEBI:28200 YesY
RTECS number KK0875000
3DMet B01042
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Molecular formula C2H5ClO
Molar mass 80.51 g mol−1
Appearance Colourless liquid
Density 1.201 g mL−1
Melting point −62.60 °C; −80.68 °F; 210.55 K
Boiling point 127 to 131 °C; 260 to 268 °F; 400 to 404 K
log P −0.107
Vapor pressure 700 Pa (at 20 °C)
−1.1914 MJ mol−1
GHS pictograms The flame pictogram in the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) The skull-and-crossbones pictogram in the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)
GHS signal word DANGER
H226, H300, H310, H330
P260, P280, P284, P301+310, P302+350
EU Index 603-028-00-7
EU classification Very Toxic T+
R-phrases R26/27/28
S-phrases (S1/2), S45
Flash point 55 °C (131 °F; 328 K)
Explosive limits 5–16%
LD50 67 mg kg−1 (dermal, rabbit)
Related compounds
Related compounds
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
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Infobox references

2-Chloroethanol is an organochlorine compound with the formula HOCH2CH2Cl. This colorless liquid has a pleasant ether-like odor. It is miscible with water. The molecule is bifunctional, consisting of both an alkyl chloride and an alcohol functional groups.

Synthesis and applications[edit]

2-Chloroethanol is produced by treating ethylene with hypochlorous acid:

Synthesis of 2-chlorethanol by treating ethylene with hypochlorous acid

2-Chloroethanol was once produced on a large scale as a precursor to ethylene oxide:

Synthesis of ethylene oxide from 2-chloroethanol

This application has been supplanted by the greener direct oxidation of ethylene. Otherwise chloroethanol is used in a number of specialized applications.[2] Several dyes are prepared by the alkylation of aniline derivatives with chloroethanol.[3] It is a building block in the production of pharmaceuticals, biocides and plasticizers. It is also used for manufacture of thiodiglycol. It is a solvent for cellulose acetate and ethyl cellulose, textile printing dyes, in dewaxing, refining of rosin, extraction of pine lignin, and the cleaning of machines.

Environmental aspects[edit]

Chloroethanol is a metabolite in the degradation of 1,2-dichloroethane. The alcohol is then further oxidized via chloroacetaldehyde to chloroacetate. This metabolic pathway is topical since billions of kilograms of 1,2-dichloroethane are processed annually as a precursor to vinyl chloride.[4]


2-Chloroethanol is toxic with an LD50 of 89 mg/kg in rats. Like most organochlorine compounds, chloroethanol combusts to yield hydrogen chloride and phosgene.

In regards to dermal exposure to 2-chloroethanol, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has set a permissible exposure limit of 5 ppm (16 mg/m3) over an eight-hour time-weighted average, while the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has a more protective recommended exposure limit of a 1 ppm (3 mg/m3) exposure ceiling.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Depositor-supplied synonyms for CID 34
  2. ^ Gordon Y. T. Liu, W. Frank Richey, Joanne E. Betso “Chlorohydrins“ in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, 2002, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. doi:10.1002/14356007.a06_565
  3. ^ Roderich Raue and John F. Corbett “Nitro and Nitroso Dyes“ in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, 2002, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. doi:10.1002/14356007.a17_383
  4. ^ 1. Janssen, D. B.; van der Ploeg, J. R. and Pries, F., "Genetics and Biochemistry of 1,2-Dichloroethane Degradation", Biodegradation, 1994, volume 5, pp. 249-57.doi:10.1007/BF00696463
  5. ^ CDC - NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards