Methylene chloride (MEC)

From Cargo Handbook - the world's largest cargo transport guidelines website
Infobox on Methylene chloride (MEC)
Example of Methylene chloride (MEC)
Origin -
Stowage factor (in m3/t) -
Humidity / moisture -
Ventilation -
Risk factors See text

Methylene chloride (MEC)


Dichloromethane (DCM or methylene chloride) is an organic compound with the formula CH2Cl2. This colourless, volatile liquid with a moderately sweet aroma is widely used as a solvent. Although it is not miscible with water, it is miscible with many organic solvents.

Dichloromethane is produced by treating either methyl chloride or methane with chlorine gas at 400–500°C. At these temperatures, both methane and methyl chloride undergo a series of reactions producing progressively more chlorinated products. The output of these processes is a mixture of methyl chloride, dichloromethane, chloroform, and carbon tetrachloride. These compounds are separated by distillation.

DCM's volatility and ability to dissolve a wide range of organic compounds makes it a useful solvent for many chemical processes. Concerns about its health effects have led to a search for alternatives in many of these applications.


Use; paint removers, solvent degreasing, plastics processing, blowing agent in foams, solvent extraction, solvent for cellulose acetate, aerosol propellant.

Shipment / Storage

Store in a tightly closed container. Keep from contact with oxidizing materials. Store in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area away from incompatible substances. Store below 40°C. Keep away from active metals.

Boiling point: 40°C
Freezing/Melting point: -97°C
Decomposition temperature: not available.
Solubility: moderately soluble in water

Risk factors

Toxic. A carcinogen, narcotic. TLV: 100 ppm in air.

For overseas carriage aspects of Chemicals, the readers are recommended to acquire or have access to a good chemical dictionary, and a copy of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, issued by the International Maritime Organisation. Also consult the applicable MSDS sheet.

See also: