Dimethyl carbonate is a highly flammable liquid that is colorless at room temperature and has a mild, pleasant fragrance but a bitter, numbing taste. The smell is similar to that of methanol, but still has no toxic, mutagenic or environmentally harmful properties. The compound dissolves easily in most organic solvents, and it is also noticeably soluble in water.
It is a solvent that has a variety of applications in a wide range of industries. Dimethyl carbonate can act as a substitute product in many markets, such as for MEK and tertbutyl acetate. It is a major product in plastics, resins and in the paint and ink industry. Furthermore, it can be used as an additive for ballpoint pen pastes, dyeing auxiliaries, disinfectants and development accelerator in color photochemistry. It is also used as a preservative for injection solutions. In addition, it dissolves cellulose esters, cellulose ethers, fats, oils and resins, and is an approved extraction and reactive solvent in many construction chemicals. Furthermore, it is used for the production of paint strippers and as a viscosity regulator. In addition, it is a starting product for the production of esters.