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Perchloroethylene is a chlorinated hydrocarbon solvent used mainly in the dry cleaning industry (70-75%). One of its other major uses is as a chemical intermediate (12%), especially as the basic raw material in the manufacture of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) 134a, a popular alternative to chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) refrigerants, but also HFCs 123, 124 and 125. Other uses include metal degreasing (15-16%), textile finishing, dyeing and extracting processes. The size of the market has been shrinking for several years. For instance, in Western Europe consumption has been declining steadily since 1990, when volumes were about 125,000 tonnes to 47,000 tonnes in 2010.

Over-exposure can potentially have a lethal effect and concerns over the environmental impact of emissions mean that perchloroethylene is tightly regulated. However, the shrinking size of the market has much more to do with increased use of recycling systems in the dry cleaning industry than reduced use driven by health and environmental concerns.

ICIS pricing quotes perchloroethylene in Europe.

To find out more Perchloroethylene Methodology June 2013