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Dimethyl Carbonate – Silverfernchemical.com

Dimethyl Carbonate

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Dimethyl Carbonate

Definition and Chemical Structure

Dimethyl Carbonate (DMC) is an organic compound with the formula OC(OCH3)2. It is a colourless, flammable liquid with a low boiling point, commonly used as a reagent, solvent, and in the synthesis of other organic compounds. Its molecular structure comprises a carbonate central group, with two methyl groups on either side, making it a versatile and reactive molecule.

Production Methods

Industrial Synthesis

Historically, DMC was produced through the phosgenation of methanol, a process involving toxic gases. However, more environmentally friendly methods have been developed, including the oxidative carbonylation of methanol and the transesterification of ethylene carbonate, which are currently the preferred methods for DMC production due to their lower impact on the environment.

Physical Properties

DMC possesses several notable physical properties, including a boiling point of 90°C, making it an excellent solvent for various chemical reactions. Its low toxicity and biodegradability compared to other solvents like phthalates and acetates further lend to its utility in numerous applications.

Uses in Various Industries

  • In the pharmaceutical sector, DMC is used as a solvent and in the synthesis of certain drugs.
  • The paints, inks, and adhesives industries utilize DMC as a low-toxicity solvent.
  • It serves as an electrolyte in lithium batteries, contributing to the efficiency and lifespan of these power sources.
  • As a methylating agent in the synthesis of fine chemicals.

Environmental Impact

DMC is regarded as an environmentally friendly chemical. Its biodegradability and low toxicity reduce the risk of pollution compared to other industrial solvents. Nonetheless, responsible handling and disposal practices are essential to minimize any potential environmental impact.

Safety Precautions and Handling Guidelines

Despite its low toxicity, proper safety measures should be taken when handling DMC. Use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves and goggles, is recommended. Adequate ventilation should be ensured in areas where DMC is used to avoid inhalation of vapors. In the event of a spill, it should be cleaned up promptly to prevent environmental contamination.

Health Hazards and Toxicity Information

While DMC is less toxic than many other solvents, it can still pose health risks if mishandled. Inhalation of vapors may cause respiratory irritation, and skin or eye contact can result in irritation. Long-term exposure has not been extensively studied, but safety when handling chemicals should always be a priority.

Regulations and Legal Status

Regulations regarding the use and handling of DMC vary by country but generally include guidelines on exposure limits, storage, and disposal. In the United States, Dimethyl Carbonate is regulated under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), and businesses are required to comply with the relevant safety standards and reporting requirements.

Alternatives and Substitutes

While DMC is favored for its low toxicity and environmental impact, research into alternative solvents continues. Substances such as ethyl lactate and propylene carbonate are being explored for similar applications, although each has its advantages and limitations. The quest for greener solvents remains a priority in chemical research and industry practices.

At Silver Fern Chemical, Inc., we are committed to supplying our customers across various industries with high-quality, environmentally friendly chemical solutions like Dimethyl Carbonate. Our dedication to sustainability, combined with our extensive experience and global reach, allows us to offer tailored solutions that meet the specific needs of our clients. By prioritizing safety, quality, and environmental responsibility, we strive to be a trusted partner in the chemical supply chain, contributing to the success and sustainability of businesses worldwide.

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