Fact sheet: 1,2-dichloropropane

From: Public Services and Procurement Canada

Discover a list of a contaminant's important chemical properties, how it will react in the environment, main sources of contamination related, and a brief overview of health and safety issues.

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General information

CAS number


Molecular formula


Formula weight

113 g/mol


Chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons (CAH)

Properties (at room temperature where applicable)

Compound properties list
Melting/boiling point -100 °C / 96 °CLiquid
Relative density1.15 g/cm3Sinks in water
Vapour pressure45 mm HgModerately volatile
Vapour density3.9Denser than air
Solubility in water2,500 mg/LModerately soluble
Henry's law constant2 x 10-3 atm·m3/molRapid volatilization when dissolved
log Koc (Depending on soil or sediment characteristics)Moderate adsorption to organic matter

Environmental behaviour

At 20 0C, 1,2-dichloropropane is a liquid denser than water and moderately volatile. Characterized by moderate solubility, it will volatilize rapidly once dissolved and adsorbs moderately to organic matter. During a spill, this compound will evaporate in part but may also enter into the soil or migrate into a waterway. Once it encounters water (surface or subsurface), the 1,2-dichloropropane will dissolve or sink until it reaches an impermeable surface. Liquid 1,2-dichloropropane that accumulates in a saturated zone will gradually dissolve before volatilization occurs. The adsorbed 1,2-dichloropropane in the vadose and saturated zones will rapidly disappear, liberating contamination in either the gaseous or dissolved state. The resulting plumes (gaseous or dissolved) will be relatively small in size.

Health and safety

1,2-Dichloropropane should be handled with care as it is flammable.

Principal resources

1,2-Dichloropropane is a man-made chemical obtained as a by-product of the synthesis of propene oxide by the chlorohydrin process, or by the reaction of propene and chlorine in the presence of an iron oxide catalyst. Almost all of the 1,2-dichloropropane industrially produced is used on site as a chemical intermediate in the production of tetrachloroethene, carbon tetrachloride and other chlorinated products. The rest is used as an industrial solvent for oils, fats, resins, waxes and rubber,. It is also used in ion exchange manufacture, for paper coating, and for petroleum catalyst regeneration. Other minor uses include as an intermediate in the synthesis of toluene diisocyanate (TDI), photographic film manufacturing, textile stain remover, scouring compound, metal degreasing agent, and lead scavenger in gasoline. Before the early 1980s, some of the 1,2-dichloropropane produced was also used in farming as a soil fumigant for nematodes and as a solvent in some paint, varnish, and furniture finish removers. It is no longer sold for these uses.

Industrial activities are probably responsible for all releases of 1,2-dichloropropane into the environment. Most of these releases finally end up in the air or groundwater.


Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), 1989. Toxicological Profile for 1,2-Dichloropropane. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Georgia, USA. (Viewed March 2010)

Montgomery, John H. 2007. Groundwater Chemicals, Desk Reference, Fourth Edition, CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group, Florida, USA.