R10 used

R10 used

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R10 used

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It once was a popular solvent in organic chemistry, but, because of its adverse health effects, it is rarely used today.

It is sometimes useful as a solvent for infrared spectroscopy, because there are no significant absorption bands > 1600 cm−1.

Because carbon tetra chloride does not have any hydrogen atoms, it was historically used in proton NMR spectroscopy.

In addition to being toxic, its dissolving power is low.

Its use has been largely superseded by deuterated solvents.

Use of carbon tetrachloride in determination of oil has been replaced by various other solvents, such as tetrachloroethylene.

Because it has no C-H bonds, carbon tetrachloride does not easily undergo free-radical reactions.

It is a useful solvent for halogenations either by the elemental halogen or by a halogenation reagent such as N-bromosuccinimide (these conditions are known as Wohl-Ziegler Bromination).


Fire suppression

A brass, Pyrene carbon-tetrachloride, fire extinguisher

In 1910, the Pyrene Manufacturing Company of Delaware filed a patent to use carbon tetrachloride to extinguish fires.

The liquid was vaporized by the heat of combustion and extinguished flames, an early form of gaseous fire suppression.

At the time it was believed the gas simply displaced oxygen in the area near the fire, but later research found that the gas actually inhibits the chemical chain reaction of the combustion process.

In 1911, Pyrene patented a small, portable extinguisher that used the chemical.

The extinguisher consisted of a brass bottle with an integrated handpump that was used to expel a jet of liquid toward the fire.

As the container was unpressurized, it could easily be refilled after use.

Carbon tetrachloride was suitable for liquid and electrical fires and the extinguishers were often carried on aircraft or motor vehicles.

In the first half of the 20th century, another common fire extinguisher was a single-use, sealed glass globe known as a “fire grenade,” filled with either carbon tetrachloride or salt water.

The bulb could be thrown at the base of the flames to quench the fire.

The carbon tetrachloride type could also be installed in a spring-loaded wall fixture with a solder-based restraint. When the solder melted by high heat, the spring would either break the globe or launch it out of the bracket, allowing the extinguishing agent to be automatically dispersed into the fire.

A well-known brand was the “Red Comet,” which was variously manufactured with other fire-fighting equipment in the Denver, Colorado area by the Red Comet Manufacturing Company from its founding in 1919 until manufacturing operations were closed in the early 1980s.



Carbon tetrachloride was widely used as a dry cleaning solvent, as a refrigerant, and in lava lamps.

One specialty use of carbon tetrachloride is in stamp collecting, to reveal watermarks on postage stamps without damaging them.

A small amount of the liquid was placed on the back of a stamp, sitting in a black glass or obsidian tray.

The letters or design of the watermark could then be clearly seen.








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