January 2019

Methyl Chloride

Methyl chloride (CH3), a well-known organohalogen molecule, was detected simultaneously in both the low-mass protostar IRAS 16293-2422 and in comet 67P-Churyumov-Gerasimenko, as reported in 2017 by Fayolle et al. The interstellar detection was made with the ALMA observatory. Both the 35Cl and 37Cl isomers were detected for 13K–12K with K=0–4 and other rotational transitions. The cometary detection was made with the ROSINA-DFMS instrument on Rosetta.

News stories about the detection often connected it to one of the terrestrial use of methyl chloride (or chloromethane), as the refrigerant Freon-40 or R-40. In addition to industrial production and use, chloromethane is produced naturally as well. It is toxic.

Researcher Links
EC Fayolle
KI Öberg
JK Jørgensen
K Altwegg
H Calcutt
HSP Müller
M Rubin
M van der Wiel
P Bjerkeli
TL Bourke
A Coutens
EF van Dishoeck
MN Drozdovskaya
RT Garrod
NFW Ligterink
MV Persson
SF Wampfler

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