Perchloroethylene (PER)

Perchloroethylene (PER) is a fully chlorinated C2-hydrocarbon of the formula C2Cl4. PER is used (decreasing order of share):

  1. as starting raw material to produce fluorinated hydrocarbons and fluorinated polymers, other fluorinated derivatives like trifluoroacidic acid and TRI (through reduction).
  2. as solvent mainly for professional dry cleaning, in industrial textile treatment and for surface (mainly metal) cleaning.
  3. as reactant for catalyst regeneration in the petrol industry.

© © PER is a clear non-flammable liquid with a 121°C boiling point, has good chemical stability, is non-miscible with water and has the lowest evaporation energy amongst the chlorinated solvents (nearly 11 times lower than water). This makes PER very well-suited for vapor phase cleaning and recycling through equipment internal distillation and constant re-use in closed loop systems at high quality levels.

The use of closed systems is being strongly recommended by ECSA and is becoming Industry Standard.

PER provides good solubility for oils, greases and resins. In addition, its higher boiling point makes it a 

particularly good cleaning agent to remove waxes and pastes. PER is often the first choice for users looking to replace TRI, because of its close properties.

PER is the solvent of choice for most dry-cleaners. By use of modern closed dry-cleaning machines as recommended by ECSA, the amount needed to clean 1 kg of clothes has very much decreased (by 90% from 110 to 10 g solvent / kg). ECSA is very engaged to increase safe use and sustainability even further. Read here the latest Information Sheet on PER and dry-cleaning. The document is also available in French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian and Portugese.

We have developed an online toolbox to provide users of chlorinated solvents with information about the safe & sustainable use of the products. Follow the link to the ECSA Product & Application Toolbox, a Guidance on Safe & Sustainable Use of Chlorinated Solvents. For more information of Perchloroethylene please refer to the respective Health Profile and Product Safety Summary Document (Publication). 

A generic label for perchloroethylene packaging are available here, which include up to date pictograms and hazard phrases, in accordance with CLP 1272/2008 EC. This includes all EU languages.