Chemical elements
  Carbon
    Isotopes
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      Methane
      Ethylene
        Synthesis
        Physical Properties
        Chemical Properties
      Acetylene
      Coal-Gas
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      Tetrafluoromethane
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      Tetrachloromethane
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      Tetrabromomethane
      Carbon Tetraiodide
      Tetraiodomethane
      Carbon Oxychloride
      Carbonyl Chloride
      Phosgene
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      Carbamide
      Urea
      Carbon Disulphide
      Carbonyl Sulphide
      Carbon Oxysulphide
      Thiocarbonyl Chloride
      Thiocarbonic Acid
      Thiocarbamic acid
      Thiourea
      Thiocarbamide
      Perthiocarbonates
      Carbon Monosulphide
      Carbon Subsulphide
      Carbon Sulphidoselenide
      Carbon Sulphidotelluride
      Carbon Nitrides
      Cyanogen
      Dicyanogen
      Hydrocyanic Acid
      Prussic Acid
      Cyanogen Chloride
      Chlorocyanogen
      Cyanogen Bromide
      Bromocyanogen
      Cyanogen Iodide
      Iodocyanogen
      Polymerised Cyanogen Halides
      Cyanamide
      Cyanic Acid
      Cyanuric Acid
      Cyamelide
      Fulminic Acid
      Thiocyanic Acid
      Sulphocyanic Acid
      Isoperthiocyanic Acid
      Cyanogen Sulphide
      Thiocyanic Anhydride
    Diamonds
    Graphite
    Amorphous Carbon
    Coal

Physical Properties of Ethylene






Ethylene is a colourless gas with an ethereal smell. It was first liquefied by Faraday in 1845 at - 1° C. under 42 atmospheres pressure. Thus the boiling-point of ethylene at atmospheric pressure is about -104° C. Cardoso and Ami give B.P. - 104.3° C.

The vapour pressures of ethylene at temperatures below its normal boiling-point may be calculated from the equation

logP = -767.8/t + 7.433.

The following critical data for ethylene have been determined by different observers:

Critical TemperatureCritical Pressure
Van der Waals9.2° C58.0 atm.
Dewar10.1° C.51.0 atm
Olszewski10.0° C51.7 atm
Cardoso and Ami9.50° ± 0.10° C50.65 ± 0.10 atm.


The constants a and b in van der Waals' equation are for ethylene 0.00889 and 0.00254 (Dewar) or 0.00877 and 0.00251 (Olszewski) respectively.

The density of gaseous ethylene is 0.9852 (air = 1), whilst the density of a perfect gas of molecular weight 28.03 would be 0.9684.

Liquid ethylene solidifies at -169° C.; the density of the liquid at its boiling-point is 0.6095, and at the melting-point 0.6585. According to Cailletet and Mathias, however, liquid ethylene has a density of 0.306 at 6.1° C. The cryoscopic constant of dry ethylene is 125, that of the moist compound 118. The specific heat of ethylene between 10° C. and 220° C. is 0.4040; its heat of combustion is 341,100 calories (Berthelot and Matignon) or 333,300 calories (Thomsen).

Ethylene is slightly soluble in water, but much more soluble in alcohol; Henrich expresses its solubility in these two solvents by the following equations:

Solubility of ethylene in water at t° C.:
c = 0.25487 – 0.0088312t + 0.00017417t2
Solubility of ethylene in alcohol at t° C.:
c = 3.5876 – 0.0561532t + 0.00062369t2.

Ethylene under pressure forms with water the hydrate C2H4.6H2O.


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