| colorless crystals|
Hexachloroethane, also known as perchloroethane (PCA), C2Cl6, is a white crystalline solid at room temperature with a camphor-like odor. 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. It is currently being manufactured directly in India. The overall reaction is shown below. This reaction occurs stepwise.
+ 6 Cl2
+ 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.
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).
Hexachloroethane has been used manufacture 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.
Hexachlorethane is not particularly toxic when taken orally, but is considered to be quite toxic by skin adsorption. The primary effect is depression of the central nervous system. The IDLH is given as 300 ppm and the OSHA PEL is 1 ppm (skin). It is reasonably anticipated to be a carcinogen.