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IUPAC name
Other names
Carbon hexachloride, Ethane hexachloride, Perchloroethane
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.000.606 Edit this at Wikidata
EC Number
  • 200-666-4
Molar mass 236.74 g/mol
Appearance colorless crystals[1]
Odor camphor-like[1]
Density 2.091 g/mL at 25 °C
Melting point sublimes
Boiling point 183 to 185 °C (361 to 365 °F; 456 to 458 K)
0.005% (22.2 °C)[1]
Vapor pressure 0.2 mmHg (20 °C)[1]
-112.7·10−6 cm3/mol
Main hazards Probable carcinogen, dangerous CNS depression
NFPA 704 (fire diamond)
Flammability code 0: Will not burn. E.g. waterHealth code 2: Intense or continued but not chronic exposure could cause temporary incapacitation or possible residual injury. E.g. chloroformReactivity code 0: Normally stable, even under fire exposure conditions, and is not reactive with water. E.g. liquid nitrogenSpecial hazards (white): no codeNFPA 704 four-colored diamond
Flash point noncombustible[1]
Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):
4460 mg/kg (rat, oral)
4970 mg/kg (guinea pig, oral)


NIOSH (US health exposure limits):
PEL (Permissible)
TWA 1 ppm (10 mg/m3) [skin][1]
REL (Recommended)
Ca TWA 1 ppm (10 mg/m3) [skin][1]
IDLH (Immediate danger)
Ca [300 ppm][1]
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references

Hexachloroethane, also known as perchloroethane (PCA) is the organochlorine compound with the formula (CCl3)2. It is white solid at room temperature with a camphor-like odor.[3] It has been used by the military in smoke compositions, such as base-eject smoke munitions (smoke grenades).


Hexachloroethane is a byproduct of many industrial chlorination processes:

C2H6 + 6 Cl2 → C2Cl6 + 6 HCl


Hexachloroethane has been used in the formulation of extreme pressure lubricants. It has also been used as a chain transfer agent in the emulsion polymerization of propylene tetrafluoroethylene copolymer. Hexachloroethane has been used as an anthelmintic in veterinary medicine, a rubber accelerator, a component of fungicidal and insecticidal formulations as well as a moth repellant and a plasticizer for cellulose esters.[3]

Smoke grenades, called hexachloroethane (HCE) smoke or HC smoke, utilize a mixture containing roughly equal parts of HCE and zinc oxide and approximately 6% granular aluminium. These smokes are toxic, which is attributed to the production of zinc chloride (ZnCl2).[4]

Hexachloroethane has been used in the manufacture of degassing pellets to remove hydrogen gas bubbles from molten aluminum in aluminum foundries. This use, as well as similar uses in magnesium, is being phased out in the European Union. It was phased out as early as 1999 in the United States.[5]

Use against protesters[edit]

Federal forces have used hexachloroethane against protesters in Portland, Oregon during the George Floyd protests.[6]


Hexachlorethane is not particularly toxic when taken orally,[7] but is considered to be quite toxic by skin adsorption. The primary effect is depression of the central nervous system.[3] The IDLH is given as 300 ppm and the OSHA PEL is 1 ppm (skin).[7] It is reasonably anticipated to be a carcinogen.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards. "#0316". National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
  2. ^ "Hexachloroethane". Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health Concentrations (IDLH). National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
  3. ^ a b c Snedecor, Gayle (1999). "Hexachloroethane". In Kroschwitz, Jacqueline I. (ed.). Kirk-Othmer Concise Encylclopedia of Chemical Technology (4th ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p. 428. ISBN 978-0471419617.
  4. ^ "Appendix E: Smoke And Masking Agents" (PDF). Australian Department of Veteran Affairs. December 2003. p. E-3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-02-13. Retrieved 2012-10-04.
  5. ^ a b "Report on Carcinogens, Twelfth Edition, Hexachloroethane" (PDF). NIH. 2011. Retrieved 2012-10-04.
  6. ^ https://theintercept.com/2020/10/10/portland-tear-gas-chemical-grenades-protests/
  7. ^ a b "Documentation for Immediately Dangerous To Life or Health Concentrations (IDLHs) Hexachloroethane". NIOSH. May 1994. Retrieved 2012-10-04.

External links[edit]