Ethylene (Ethene) is the chemical compound with the formula C2H4. It is the simplest alkene. Because it contains a carbon-carbon double bond, ethylene is called an unsaturated hydrocarbon or an olefin.
It is extremely important in industry and also has a role in biology as a hormone. Ethylene is the most produced organic compound in the world; global production of ethylene exceeded 107 million metric tonnes in 2005.
Ethylene is an extremely important building block in the petrochemical industry. It can undergo many types of reactions which leads to a plethora of major chemical products. A list of some major types of reactions includes polymerization, oxidation, halogenation and hydrohalogenation. Ethylene is also used as a ripening agent for fruits and vegetables.
An Ethylene detector can be used to measure the concentration of Ethylene in the air. There are several gas detectors on the market, Airmet can help you selecting the correct model for you application. Give us a call or use the product selector below.
Ethylene Characteristics
Synonyms Ethene
CAS No. 74-85-1
Chemical formula C2H4
Vapour density 0.97 (air = 1)
Safe Work Australia ES TWA Not applicable – simple asphyxiant
Flammable limits LEL 2.3 % by volume
UEL 36.0 % by volume
Equipment group IIB
Temperature classification T2
Chemical/physical properties Ethylene is a colourless gas with a sweet odour and taste and which burns with a luminous flame.
Hazardous properties Ethylene has an anaesthetic effect but has not been shown to have any toxic properties. It is highly flammable.
Occurrence/Uses Ethylene is used extensively in the chemical industry as a raw material for the production of substances such as polyethylene, ethylene oxide, ethyl alcohol and styrene.
It occurs naturally in some fruits and is used in agriculture to accelerate the ripening of fruits.
Detectors available Catalytic bead (0 – 100 % LEL)
Gas detector tube (0.5 – 1,200 ppm)
Suggested alarm levels Lo: 5 % LEL
Hi: 10 % LEL


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