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Chloroform vs. Dichloromethane: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sara Rehman || Published on January 2, 2024
Chloroform (CHCl₃) is a dense, sweet-smelling liquid used historically as an anesthetic. Dichloromethane (CH₂Cl₂) is a volatile, colorless liquid used primarily as a solvent.

Key Differences

Chloroform, with the formula CHCl₃, is known for its use in anesthesia and research. Dichloromethane (CH₂Cl₂), on the other hand, is primarily used as a solvent in laboratories and industries.
Huma Saeed
Jan 02, 2024
Chloroform is denser and has a higher boiling point than dichloromethane, making it less volatile. Dichloromethane evaporates more quickly due to its lower boiling point.
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024
The historical use of chloroform includes anesthesia in surgeries, which has been discontinued due to safety concerns. Dichloromethane is often used in paint removers, pharmaceuticals, and film processing.
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024
Chloroform's toxicity and potential to cause liver and kidney damage limit its applications. Dichloromethane, though less toxic, still poses health risks, especially in terms of its carcinogenic potential.
Harlon Moss
Jan 02, 2024
In the environment, chloroform can contribute to ozone layer depletion. Dichloromethane, while less harmful to the ozone layer, still impacts air quality due to its volatile nature.
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Chemical Formula

CHCl₃
CH₂Cl₂
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024

Boiling Point

Higher boiling point
Lower boiling point
Huma Saeed
Jan 02, 2024

Primary Use

Historically as an anesthetic
Solvent in various industries
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024

Volatility

Less volatile
More volatile
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024

Toxicity and Safety

More toxic, liver and kidney damage
Less toxic, but carcinogenic concerns
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024
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Environmental Impact

Ozone layer depletion
Air quality impact, less ozone impact
Janet White
Jan 02, 2024

Chloroform and Dichloromethane Definitions

Chloroform

A dense, sweet-smelling liquid formerly used as an anesthetic.
Chloroform was a common anesthetic in the 19th century.
Sara Rehman
Dec 21, 2023

Dichloromethane

A volatile, colorless liquid used as a solvent.
Dichloromethane is commonly found in paint removers.
Huma Saeed
Dec 21, 2023

Chloroform

A chemical solvent with the formula CHCl₃.
Chloroform is used in laboratories to dissolve certain compounds.
Harlon Moss
Dec 21, 2023

Dichloromethane

Known for its lower boiling point compared to chloroform.
The low boiling point of dichloromethane allows it to evaporate quickly.
Sara Rehman
Dec 21, 2023

Chloroform

A compound known for its high boiling point.
The high boiling point of chloroform makes it stable in heat-intensive processes.
Janet White
Dec 21, 2023

Dichloromethane

Used in industries like pharmaceuticals and film processing.
Dichloromethane is essential in the production of some pharmaceuticals.
Janet White
Dec 21, 2023

Chloroform

A chemical contributing to environmental concerns like ozone depletion.
The release of chloroform into the atmosphere can negatively impact the ozone layer.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 21, 2023

Dichloromethane

A compound with the chemical formula CH₂Cl₂.
Dichloromethane's molecular structure makes it effective for dissolving various materials.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 21, 2023

Chloroform

A substance with historical medical applications but currently limited due to toxicity.
Despite its historical use, chloroform is now rarely used due to its toxic effects.
Harlon Moss
Dec 21, 2023

Dichloromethane

Less harmful to the ozone layer but still poses air quality concerns.
While not as damaging to the ozone, dichloromethane's volatility affects air quality.
Sara Rehman
Dec 21, 2023

Chloroform

A clear, colorless, dense, sweet-smelling liquid, CHCl3, used in refrigerants, propellants, and resins, as a solvent, and sometimes as an anesthetic. Chloroform, once widely used in human and veterinary surgery, has generally been replaced by less toxic, more easily controlled agents.
Sara Rehman
Dec 20, 2023

Dichloromethane

(organic compound) The partially halogenated hydrocarbon CH2Cl2 widely used as a solvent
Sara Rehman
Dec 20, 2023

Chloroform

To treat with chloroform to anesthetize, render unconscious, or kill.
Sara Rehman
Dec 20, 2023

Dichloromethane

A nonflammable liquid used as a solvent and paint remover and refrigerant
Sara Rehman
Dec 20, 2023

Chloroform

To apply chloroform to.
Sara Rehman
Dec 20, 2023

Chloroform

(organic compound) A halogenated hydrocarbon, trichloromethane, CHCl3; it is a volatile, sweet-smelling liquid, used extensively as a solvent and formerly as an anesthetic.
Sara Rehman
Dec 20, 2023

Chloroform

To treat with chloroform, or to render unconscious with chloroform.
Sara Rehman
Dec 20, 2023

Chloroform

A colorless volatile liquid, CHCl3, having an ethereal odor and a sweetish taste, formed by treating alcohol with chlorine and an alkali. It is a powerful solvent of wax, resin, etc., and is extensively used to produce anæsthesia in surgical operations; also externally, to alleviate pain.
Sara Rehman
Dec 20, 2023

Chloroform

To treat with chloroform, or to place under its influence.
Sara Rehman
Dec 20, 2023

Chloroform

A volatile liquid haloform (CHCl3); formerly used as an anesthetic;
Chloroform was the first inhalation anesthetic
Sara Rehman
Dec 20, 2023

Chloroform

Anesthetize with chloroform;
Doctors used to put people under by chloroforming them
Sara Rehman
Dec 20, 2023

FAQs

What is chloroform used for?

Historically used as an anesthetic, now limited to research.
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024

What are the primary uses of dichloromethane?

Used as a solvent in various industries, including paint removal and pharmaceuticals.
Huma Saeed
Jan 02, 2024

Can chloroform be used as a solvent?

Yes, but its use is limited due to toxicity.
Janet White
Jan 02, 2024

Is dichloromethane used in medical applications?

It is used in pharmaceutical manufacturing but not directly in medicine.
Janet White
Jan 02, 2024

How does dichloromethane affect the environment?

It affects air quality due to its volatile nature.
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024

Does dichloromethane have a lower boiling point than chloroform?

Yes, it has a lower boiling point, making it more volatile.
Harlon Moss
Jan 02, 2024

How is chloroform produced?

Typically through the chlorination of methane or chloromethane.
Harlon Moss
Jan 02, 2024

What is the chemical formula of chloroform?

CHCl₃.
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024

Are there any health risks associated with dichloromethane?

Yes, including potential carcinogenic effects.
Harlon Moss
Jan 02, 2024

Is chloroform more toxic than dichloromethane?

Yes, chloroform is generally considered more toxic.
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024

What safety precautions are needed when handling chloroform?

Use in a well-ventilated area and avoid inhalation or skin contact.
Janet White
Jan 02, 2024

What is the environmental impact of chloroform?

It contributes to ozone layer depletion.
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024

How is dichloromethane produced?

Mainly through the chlorination of methane gas.
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024

Is chloroform still used in surgeries?

No, it's no longer used due to safety concerns.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 02, 2024

Is dichloromethane naturally occurring?

It can occur naturally but is primarily industrial in origin.
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024

Can chloroform be found in nature?

It can be produced in small amounts in natural processes.
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024

What are the safety measures for dichloromethane?

Similar precautions: adequate ventilation and protection against inhalation and skin exposure.
Janet White
Jan 02, 2024

Can chloroform be mixed with other chemicals?

It should be mixed carefully, considering its reactivity and toxicity.
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024

Is dichloromethane reactive with other substances?

It can react with some chemicals, requiring careful handling in chemical reactions.
Janet White
Jan 02, 2024

What is the chemical formula of dichloromethane?

CH₂Cl₂.
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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