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Methyl Chloride vs. Methylene Chloride: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on January 29, 2024
Methyl chloride (CH₃Cl) is a chlorinated methane, used as a refrigerant; methylene chloride (CH₂Cl₂) is a solvent with two chlorine atoms.

Key Differences

Methyl chloride, also known as chloromethane, is a simple alkyl halide with one chlorine atom attached to a methane molecule. Methylene chloride, or dichloromethane, has two chlorine atoms attached to a methane molecule, making it denser and more volatile.
Methyl chloride is primarily used in the production of silicones and as a refrigerant. Methylene chloride is widely used as an effective solvent in paint removers, degreasers, and in pharmaceuticals.
Methyl chloride is a colorless, flammable gas under standard conditions, with a slightly sweet odor. Methylene chloride is a colorless, non-flammable liquid with a sweet, chloroform-like odor.
Exposure to methyl chloride can affect the central nervous system, while methylene chloride is known to be a potential carcinogen and poses greater health risks due to its toxicity.
Methyl chloride is regulated due to its impact on the ozone layer and as a greenhouse gas. Methylene chloride is heavily regulated in many countries due to its carcinogenic properties and environmental impact.

Comparison Chart

Chemical Formula



Silicone production, refrigerant
Solvent in paint removers, degreasers

State at Room Temperature


Number of Chlorine Atoms


Health and Environmental Risks

Affects central nervous system, ozone depletion
Toxic, potential carcinogen, regulated

Methyl Chloride and Methylene Chloride Definitions

Methyl Chloride

A gas with a slightly sweet odor.
In the lab, the sweet smell indicated the presence of methyl chloride.

Methylene Chloride

A solvent with two chlorine atoms in its structure.
Methylene chloride was used to dissolve paint.

Methyl Chloride

Has a molecular formula of CH₃Cl.
The chemical reaction produced methyl chloride, CH₃Cl.

Methylene Chloride

A liquid used in pharmaceuticals.
In drug manufacturing, methylene chloride extracts certain compounds.

Methyl Chloride

A chlorinated methane used as a refrigerant.
Methyl chloride is employed in industrial refrigeration systems.

Methylene Chloride

Known as dichloromethane, a non-flammable liquid.
Despite being a solvent, methylene chloride does not catch fire easily.

Methyl Chloride

A colorless, flammable gas.
Methyl chloride gas was carefully handled due to its flammability.

Methylene Chloride

Has a molecular formula of CH₂Cl₂.
The formula CH₂Cl₂ represents methylene chloride.

Methyl Chloride

Used in the production of silicones.
Methyl chloride is a key raw material in making silicone polymers.

Methylene Chloride

Known for its sweet, chloroform-like odor.
The laboratory had a distinct smell due to methylene chloride.


What is methyl chloride?

A chloromethane gas used as a refrigerant and in silicone production.

Is methyl chloride a gas or liquid?

It's a colorless gas at room temperature.

What are common uses of methylene chloride?

As a solvent in paint removers, degreasers, and pharmaceuticals.

What state is methylene chloride at room temperature?

It's a colorless, non-flammable liquid.

Are there health risks associated with methyl chloride?

Yes, it can affect the central nervous system and respiratory system.

How is methyl chloride used in industry?

Primarily in silicone manufacturing and refrigeration systems.

What is the chemical formula of methylene chloride?


Can methyl chloride affect the ozone layer?

Yes, it contributes to ozone depletion and is a greenhouse gas.

What is methylene chloride?

A solvent, also known as dichloromethane, used in various industries.

What environmental concerns are associated with methylene chloride?

It's environmentally hazardous and heavily regulated.

Is methyl chloride flammable?

Yes, it's a flammable gas.

Is methylene chloride considered toxic?

Yes, it's toxic and a potential carcinogen.

Is methylene chloride flammable?

No, it's a non-flammable liquid.

How is methyl chloride produced?

Through the reaction of methane with chlorine.

Can methyl chloride be used in pharmaceuticals?

Its use is limited due to its toxicity.

What precautions are necessary when handling methylene chloride?

Use in well-ventilated areas and personal protective equipment.

What is the odor of methylene chloride?

It has a sweet, chloroform-like odor.

How is methylene chloride produced?

Often by chlorination of methane or methyl chloride.

What is the chemical formula of methyl chloride?


Is methyl chloride naturally occurring?

Yes, in small amounts in the ocean and some plants.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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