Dichloromethane (DCM or methylene chloride) is an organochlorine compound with the formula CH2Cl2. This colorless, volatile liquid with a moderately sweet aroma is widely used as a solvent. Although it is not miscible with water, it is polar, and miscible with many organic solvents.
Natural sources of dichloromethane include oceanic sources, macroalgae, wetlands, and volcanoes.However, the majority of dichloromethane in the environment is the result of industrial emissions.
DCM's volatility and ability to dissolve a wide range of organic compounds makes it a useful solvent for many chemical processes.
It is widely used as a paint stripper and a degreaser. In the food industry, it has been used to decaffeinate coffee and tea as well as to prepare extracts of hops and other flavorings.Its volatility has led to its use as an aerosol spray propellant and as a blowing agent for polyurethane foams.
Dichloromethane is suitable for a variety of uses including as a versatile cleaner, degreaser, polar lab solvent and component in plastic manufacturing.