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Chlorinated Solvents and Metals


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I keep seeing, on MSDS and lab texts, that chlorinated solvents are incompatible with metals, especially magnesium and aluminum. I can't find any explanation of why they are incompatible or what happens though. These are the same texts that say the metals are also incompatible with oxidizers, flame, water, or air; difference is I know what will happen with exposure to those elements.


The best explanations I can dig up on google are from guidelines on cleaning metal which say chlorinated solvents turn the metals black and cause the solvents to break down into varying organic compounds.


Can anyone explain the chemistry behind what happens to metals in presence of chlorinated solvents? Or dig up some references?

Edited by AzoMittle
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1. 2 CHCl3 + 2 Na => 2 Na+ + 2 CCl3- + H2

2. CCl3- => Cl- + :CCl2 Dichlorcarbene


Carbenes are highly reactive.

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