- 50.5 g/mol
- Chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons (CAH)
Compound properties list
|Melting/boiling point|| -97 0C / -24 0C||Gas|
|Relative density||0.92||Liquid form floats on water|
|Vapour pressure||3,800 mm Hg||Extremely volatile|
|Vapour density||1.7||Denser than air|
|Solubility in water||6,000 mg/L||Moderately soluble|
|Henry's law constant||8 x 10-3 atm·m3/mol||Rapid volatilization when dissolved|
|log Koc (Depending on soil or sediment characteristics)||Weak adsorption to organic matter|
At 20 0C, chloromethane is a gas that is easily liquefied under pressure and is both
stored and transported by industry in its liquid form. Liquefied chloromethane it floats on water
and is extremely volatile. Moderately soluble, it volatilizes rapidly when dissolved and binds
weakly to organic matter. During a spill of liquefied chloromethane, the majority of the product
will volatilize but can also enter into the soil or migrate into a waterway. Once it encounters
water (surface or subsurface), chloromethane will mainly volatilize or dissolve before volatilizing.
The adsorbed product resulting from a spill will disappear very rapidly in its gaseous state. The
resulting gaseous plume in the soil will be significant while any dissolved plume will be relatively
small in size.
Chloromethane should be handled with care as it is flammable and toxic.
Chloromethane is a natural and ubiquitous constituent of the oceans and atmosphere (it
is the dominant organochlorine species in the atmosphere). Chloromethane has also been detected in
surface waters, drinking water, groundwater and soils. It is both an anthropogenic and naturally
occurring chemical. Anthropogenic sources include industrial production, burning of polyvinyl and
wood. Natural sources are important and include the oceans, microbial fermentation and biomass
Chloromethane is produced industrially by the reaction of methanol with hydrogen chloride or by
the chlorination of methane. It is used mainly in the production of silicones, but also in the
production of higher chlorinated methanes (dichloromethane, chloroform and carbon tetrachloride),
agricultural chemicals, methyl cellulose, quaternary amines, medicinal drugs and synthetic rubber.
In the past, chloromethane was widely used as a refrigerant, foam-blowing agent, fumigant, component
in industrial solvents, and propellant in some cleansers. Chloromethane is no longer present in
these products because of its toxic effects. Typically, manufacturing plants that produce
chloromethane consume almost all their output internally as a feedstock for the production of other
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), 1998. Toxicological
Profile for chloromethane, updated 2009. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public
Health Service, Georgia, USA. (Viewed
Montgomery, John H. 2007. Groundwater Chemicals, Desk Reference, Fourth Edition, CRC
Press, Taylor and Francis Group, Florida, USA.