Uses

Uses

Chlorine has direct applications, but is primarily used in the manufacture of a very wide range of other compounds.

Graph: Uses of chlorine

Organics Inorganics

Lubricatingoils

Adhesives

Aerosols

Pharmaceuticals

Polyurethane varnishes, paints, foams

Nylon

Crop protection

Hair colouring and care products

Coatings

Inks

Refrigerants

Brush bristles

Upholstery

Etching and engraving

Photography

Bactericides and disinfectants

Mirrors

Pulp and paper processing

Printed circuit boards

Dental cement

Deodorants

Soap perfume stabilisers

Bleaches

Manufacture of Chlorine Compounds

Diagram: poly(cloroethene)

photo: cable insulation

Direct applications

One of the most well known direct uses for chlorine is in water treatment to reduce bacteria content. This applies to domestic water supplies, but also to swimming pools and water used in industrial processes.

Photo: PVC water pipe

When dissolved, chlorine reacts with water. It is the hydrogen chlorate produced that is responsible for the bleaching effect of chlorine.

Diagram: Chemical equation

photo: "Sly" the cat
Poly(chloroethene)PVC The polymer PVC (poly vinyl chloride, poly(chloroethene)) is 56.8% chlorine (by mass). About 30% of chlorine produced is used in its manufacture. Click here for information on the manufacture of PVC.

Propene Oxide

Propene oxide, manufactured using chlorine, is used in the manufacture of polymers, cosmetics, food emulsifiers, anti-freeze, sterilisation and biodegradable detergents.
Insecticides

Many common insecticides are chlorine-containing compounds. Dichlorvos is used as a household insecticide, to treat parasitic worms in animals and humans, and to make anti-parasitic pet collars

Chlorinated solvents

Tetrachloroethene has long been used in dry-cleaning, and other chlorinated solvents are used for degreasing mechanical components

Domestic bleach

Two of the products from chlorine production are used to make sodium chlorate, used as a domestic bleach

Antiseptics and anti-bacterial products

Medical antiseptics and bactericides (such as TCP and Dettol)
contain chlorinated phenols.

 

 


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