Carbon tetrachloride

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Carbon tetrachloride
Structural formula of carbon tetrachloride
Structural formula of carbon tetrachloride
Space-filling model carbon tetrachloride
Space-filling model carbon tetrachloride
IUPAC name
Carbon tetrachloride, Tetrachloromethane
Other names
Benzinoform, Carbon chloride, Carbon tet, Freon-10, Refrigerant-10, Halon-104, Methane tetrachloride, Methyl tetrachloride, Necatorina, Perchloromethane, Tetraform, Tetrasol
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.000.239
EC Number
  • 200-262-8
RTECS number
  • FG4900000
UN number 1846
  • ClC(Cl)(Cl)Cl
Molar mass 153.81 g·mol−1
Appearance colourless liquid
Odor Sweet, chloroform-like odor
Density 1.5867 g cm−3 (liquid)

1.831 g cm−3 at −186 °C (solid)
1.809 g cm−3 at −80 °C (solid)

Melting point −22.92 °C (−9.26 °F; 250.23 K)
Boiling point 76.72 °C (170.10 °F; 349.87 K)
0.097 g/100 mL (0 °C)
0.081 g/100 mL (25 °C)
Solubility soluble in alcohol, ether, chloroform, benzene, naphtha, CS2, formic acid
log P 2.64
Vapor pressure 11.94 kPa at 20 °C
kH 2.76x10−2 atm-cu m/mol
-66.60·10−6 cm3/mol
0 D
0 D
Std enthalpy of
-139.3 kJ/mol
Standard molar
214.42 J/mol K
Specific heat capacity, C 132.6 J/mol K
EU classification Toxic T Dangerous for the Environment (Nature) N
NFPA 704

R-phrases R23/24/25, R40, R48/23, R59, R52/53
S-phrases (S1/2), S23, S36/37, S45, S59, S61
Flash point <982°C
U.S. Permissible
exposure limit (PEL)
TWA 10 ppm C 25 ppm 200 ppm (5-minute maximum peak in any 4 hours)[1]
Related compounds
Other cations Silicon tetrachloride
Germanium tetrachloride
Tin tetrachloride
Lead tetrachloride
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
checkY verify (what is checkY☒N ?)
Infobox references

Carbon tetrachloride, also known as carbon tet for short or tetrachloromethane, is a chemical compound. Its chemical formula is CCl4. It contains carbon in its +4 oxidation state and chloride ions. It is a colourless heavy liquid.

Properties[change | change source]

It is a colorless liquid. It smells like chloroform. It evaporates quite quickly. It can dissolve fats and oils as well as other substances including iodine. It does not burn, but it does make phosgene when heated to a very high temperature.

Preparation[change | change source]

It is made by reacting methane with chlorine. This reaction is similar to the burning of methane (reaction of methane with oxygen). Hydrogen chloride, chloromethane, dichloromethane and chloroform are byproducts (left over substances). It used to be made by reacting carbon disulfide with chlorine. This reaction would produce sulfur(I) chloride.

Uses[change | change source]

The uses of carbon tetrachloride have diminished lately, because it is known to be damage people's health. People think it might damage the ozone layer. Today, it is rarely used for anything.[2]

An old German advertisement stamp for carbon tetrachloride which was used as a stain remover, "Benzinoform" was a tradename for carbon tetrachloride

Previously, was used in fire extinguishers. It was also used to make freon, used in dry cleaning and as a refrigerant.[3]

Safety[change | change source]

Carbon tetrachloride is very poisonous to the liver, the kidneys and the nervous system; it might also cause cancer. Carbon tetrachloride converts to phosgene (an extremely poisonous gas) at very high temperatures like fire conditions. In the days when it was used as a fire extinguisher, this problem was very common and caused deaths.

References in media[change | change source]

  • In the episode "Return From The Outer Space" (1965) of the science fiction TV series Lost In Space, a boy is seen buying carbon tetrachloride from a parallel universe.
  • Australian YouTuber Tom de Prinse of "Explosions&Fire" and "Extractions&Ire" made videos where he is taking out carbon tetrachloride from an old fire extinguisher and then using it in his videos in 2019, and the chemical has got a fan base on social media. Channel owner Tom later used carbon tetrachloride themed designs in his channel's merchandise.
  • In the Ramones song "Carbona Not Glue", the singer says that breathing the vapours of a stain remover containing carbon tetrachloride is better than breathing in glue vapours.

References[change | change source]

  1. NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards. "#0107". National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
  2. Manfred Rossberg, Wilhelm Lendle, Gerhard Pfleiderer, Adolf Tögel, Eberhard-Ludwig Dreher, Ernst Langer, Heinz Jaerts, Peter Kleinschmidt, Heinz Strack, Richard Cook, Uwe Beck, Karl-August Lipper, Theodore R. Torkelson, Eckhard Löser, Klaus K. Beutel, "Chlorinated Hydrocarbons" in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, 2006 Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. doi:10.1002/14356007.a06_233.pub2
  3. Fieldner, A. C.; Katz, S. H.; Kinney, S. P.; Longfellow, E. S. (1920-10-01). "Poisonous gases from carbon tetrachloride fire extinguishers". Journal of the Franklin Institute. 190 (4): 543–565. doi:10.1016/S0016-0032(20)91494-1. Retrieved 2022-02-03.

Related pages[change | change source]