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A colourless volatile liquid with a characteristic odour, virtually insoluble in water but miscible with many organic liquids, such as ethanol and benzene; r.d. 1.586; m.p. –23°C; b.p. 76.54°C. It is made by the chlorination of methane (previously by chlorination of carbon disulphide). The compound is a good solvent for waxes, lacquers, and rubbers and the main industrial use is as a solvent, but safer substances (e.g. 1,1,1-trichloroethane) are increasingly being used. Moist carbon tetrachloride is partly decomposed to phosgene and hydrogen chloride and this provides a further restriction on its use.

Subjects: Chemistry.

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