CAS number 107-07-3 YesY
ChemSpider 21106015 YesY
KEGG C06753 YesY
ChEBI CHEBI:28200 YesY
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Molecular formula C2H5ClO
Molar mass 80.52 g/mol
Density 1.197 g/cm³
Melting point

-67 °C

Boiling point

128-130 °C

Related compounds
Related compounds 2-Fluoroethanol
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Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox references

2-Chloroethanol is an organochlorine compound with the formula HOCH2CH2Cl. This colorless liquid has a pleasant ether-like odor. It is miscible with water. The molecule is bifunctional, consisting of both an alkyl chloride and an alcohol functional groups.


Synthesis and applications

2-Chloroethanol is produced by treating ethylene with hypochlorous acid:

Synthesis of 2-chlorethanol by treating ethylene with hypochlorous acid

2-Chloroethanol was once produced on a large scale as a precursor to ethylene oxide:

Synthesis of ethylene oxide from 2-chloroethanol

This application has been supplanted by the greener direct oxidation of ethylene. Otherwise chloroethanol is used in a number of specialized applications.[1] Several dyes are prepared by the alkylation of aniline derivatives with chloroethanol.[2] It is a building block in the production of pharmaceuticals, biocides and plasticizers. It is also used for manufacture of thiodiglycol. It is a solvent for cellulose acetate and ethyl cellulose, textile printing dyes, in dewaxing, refining of rosin, extraction of pine lignin, and the cleaning of machines.

Environmental aspects

Chloroethanol is a metabolite in the degradation of 1,2-dichloroethane. The alcohol is then further oxidized via chloroacetaldehyde to chloroacetate. This metabolic pathway is topical since billions of kilograms of 1,2-dichloroethane are processed annually as a precursor to vinyl chloride.[3]


2-Chloroethanol is toxic with an LD50 of 89 mg/kg in rats. Like most organochlorine compounds, chloroethanol combusts to yield hydrogen chloride and phosgene.


  1. ^ Gordon Y. T. Liu, W. Frank Richey, Joanne E. Betso “Chlorohydrins“ in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, 2002, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. doi:10.1002/14356007.a06_565
  2. ^ Roderich Raue and John F. Corbett “Nitro and Nitroso Dyes“ in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, 2002, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. doi:10.1002/14356007.a17_383
  3. ^ 1. Janssen, D. B.; van der Ploeg, J. R. and Pries, F., "Genetics and Biochemistry of 1,2-Dichloroethane Degradation", Biodegradation, 1994, volume 5, pp. 249-57.doi:10.1007/BF00696463

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