Trichloroethylene (TCE) has historically been used in various industrial and commercial applications due to its excellent solvent properties. Some of the major or common uses of trichloroethylene include:
- Degreasing: TCE has been widely used to degrease metal parts in industrial settings, such as in automotive manufacturing, aerospace, and electronics industries. It effectively removes oils, greases, and other contaminants from metal surfaces.
- Chemical Intermediate: TCE can serve as an intermediate in the production of other chemicals, such as hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants.
- Extraction: It has been used in the extraction of specific compounds in laboratories, particularly for separating and purifying chemicals.
- Cleaning Agent: TCE has been used as a cleaning agent for various applications, including cleaning machinery, equipment, and tools.
- Spot Remover: It has been used as a spot remover in the dry cleaning industry for removing stains from clothing and fabrics.
- Anesthetic: In the past, trichloroethylene was used as an inhaled anesthetic in medical and dental procedures. However, this use has largely been phased out due to safety concerns.
- Pharmaceutical Manufacturing: TCE has been employed in the pharmaceutical industry for various purposes, such as extracting natural products or cleaning equipment.