From WikiMD's Food, Medicine & Wellness Encyclopedia

1,3-Dichloropropan-2-ol (DCP), also known as alpha-dichlorohydrin, is a chemical compound with the formula C3H6Cl2O. It is a colorless liquid with a sweet odor and is primarily used in the production of epichlorohydrin, which is a key precursor in the manufacture of epoxy resins. DCP is also used as a solvent and an intermediate in the synthesis of other organic compounds.

Properties[edit | edit source]

1,3-Dichloropropan-2-ol has a molecular weight of 128.98 g/mol and boils at 174-175 °C. It is soluble in water and most organic solvents. Due to the presence of two chlorine atoms, DCP is classified as a halogenated compound, which contributes to its reactivity and potential environmental and health impacts.

Production[edit | edit source]

DCP is produced through the chlorination of propylene glycol or glycerol. The process involves the reaction of these substances with hydrochloric acid or gaseous chlorine. The production of DCP is a critical step in the industrial synthesis of epichlorohydrin, a compound extensively used in the production of epoxy resins and other polymers.

Applications[edit | edit source]

The primary use of 1,3-Dichloropropan-2-ol is in the production of epichlorohydrin. It is also used as a solvent for various organic reactions and as an intermediate in the synthesis of pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals. Due to its properties, DCP can be employed in the manufacture of synthetic glycerin and as a building block for other chemical compounds.

Health and Environmental Effects[edit | edit source]

Exposure to 1,3-Dichloropropan-2-ol can occur through inhalation, ingestion, or skin contact. It is considered to be toxic and can cause irritation to the eyes, skin, and respiratory system. Prolonged or repeated exposure may lead to more severe health effects, including liver and kidney damage. DCP is also suspected to have carcinogenic potential.

Environmental concerns associated with DCP include its persistence and bioaccumulation potential. It is toxic to aquatic life and can cause long-term adverse effects in the aquatic environment. Proper handling and disposal practices are essential to minimize its environmental impact.

Regulation[edit | edit source]

Due to its health and environmental risks, the production, use, and disposal of 1,3-Dichloropropan-2-ol are regulated under various international and national chemical safety standards. These regulations aim to protect human health and the environment from the potential hazards posed by DCP.

See Also[edit | edit source]


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD