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cis-1,2-Dichloroethene (Z) (left) and trans-1,2-Dichloroethene (E) (right)
Skeletal formula of cis-1,2-dichloroethene Skeletal formula of trans-1,2-dichloroethene
Ball-and-stick model of cis-1,2-dichloroethene Ball-and-stick model of trans-1,2-dichloroethene
CAS number 156-59-2 (Z) YesY, 156-60-5 (E), 540-59-0 (mixture of E and Z)
PubChem 643833 (Z), 638186 (E), 10900 (mixture of E and Z)
ChemSpider 10438 YesY
KEGG C06792 YesY
ChEBI CHEBI:18882 YesY
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Image 2
Molecular formula C2H2Cl2
Molar mass 96.95 g/mol
Density Z: 1.28 g/cm³
E: 1.26 g/cm³
Melting point Z: -81.47 °C
E: -49.44 °C
Boiling point Z: 60.2 °C
E: 48.5 °C
Dipole moment Z: 1.9 D
E: 0 D
Flash point 2–4 °C; 36–39 °F; 275–277 K
Explosive limits 5.6%-12.8%[1]
TWA 200 ppm (790 mg/m3)[1]
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

1,2-Dichloroethene, commonly called 1,2-dichloroethylene or 1,2-DCE, is an organochloride with the molecular formula C2H2Cl2. It is a highly flammable, colorless liquid with a sharp, harsh odor. It can exist as either of two geometric isomers, cis-1,2-dichloroethene or trans-1,2-dichloroethene, but is often used as a mixture of the two. They have modest solubility in water. These compounds have "scarcely any industrial applications,"[2] although they are fundamental given their simple stoichiometries.


cis-DCE is obtainable by the controlled chlorination of acetylene:

C2H2 + Cl2 → C2H2Cl2

Industrially both isomers arise as byproduct of the production of vinyl chloride, which is produced on a vast scale. Unlike vinyl chloride, the 1,2-dichloroethylene isomers do not polymerize.[2]

These compounds are in a variety of applications including electronics cleaning, precision cleaning, and certain metal cleaning applications sold under the trade name VersaTrans.


These compounds have "moderate oral toxicity to rats."[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards 0195
  2. ^ a b c E.-L. Dreher, T. R. Torkelson, K. K. Beutel (2011). "Chlorethanes and Chloroethylenes". Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH. doi:10.1002/14356007.o06_o01. 

External links[edit]