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Rack of Dry-Cleaned Clothes on Hangers

Perchloroethylene (PCE) is used in a broad number of applications, ranging from dry cleaning, to precision cleaning and chemical milling, to isomerization and catalytic reforming in petroleum refining, to its use as a chemical intermediate in the production of refrigerants and other chemistries:

  • Critical component in helping to achieve the goals of the Kigali Amendments and the AIM Act as a feedstock in the production of HFCs, which have lower global warming potential.
  • Important chloridation agent in petroleum refining to allow the production of motor fuels in compliance with EPA requirements and other derivatives.

Uses and Applications

Dry Cleaning: PCE is used as a solvent in dry cleaning processes. Its excellent cleaning properties, non-flammability, and ability to dissolve a wide range of stains make it an ideal choice for dry cleaning fabrics, including delicate garments and textiles.

Metal Degreasing: PCE is widely used as a degreasing agent in metalworking industries. It effectively removes oils, greases, and contaminants from metal surfaces, preparing them for subsequent processes such as painting, coating, or machining.

Chemical Intermediates: Perchloroethylene serves as a key intermediate in the production of various chemicals. It is used as a starting material in the synthesis of hydrofluorocarbons, refrigerants with no ozone depletion potential and lower global warming potential.

Production of Vinyl Chloride: PCE is utilized in the production of vinyl chloride monomer (VCM), a key precursor for the manufacturing of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Through a series of chemical reactions, perchloroethylene is transformed into various intermediates that ultimately lead to the production of VCM.

Metal Cleaning and Surface Treatment: PCE is employed for cleaning and surface treatment of metals, including precision components, automotive parts, and electronic equipment. It helps remove contaminants, oils, and residues from metal surfaces to enhance their quality and performance. It also is used as a chemical maskant applied to commercial and military aircraft skins to protect sensitive areas.

Adhesives and Sealants: Perchloroethylene is used as a solvent in the formulation of adhesives and sealants. It aids in dissolving various ingredients, enabling proper mixing and application of these products in industries such as construction, automotive, and manufacturing.

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