How do chemists produce the cleaning fluid carbon tetrachloride from methane?

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enotechris eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Most of the carbon tetrachloride produced is used in the production of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other chlorinated hydrocarbons. The global production has decreased and will continue to decrease in future owing to the gradual phase-out, established by the Montreal Protocol. Carbon tetrachloride has been mainly manufactured by the chlorination of methane or carbon disulfide, although there are many ways to create it.  One process doesn't even require using methane.  It can be produced in nature if methane is in the presence of carbon and UV light, which, acting like a catalyst, will induce a reaction that will halogenate carbon atoms to bond with one, two, three, or four chlorines, resulting in a mixture of products.