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polychlorinated biphenyl pol·y·chlo·rin·at·ed biphenyl (pŏl'ē-klôr'ə-nā'tĭd)
|polychlorinated biphenyl |
any of a class of organohalogen compounds prepared by the reaction of chlorine with biphenyl. A typical mixture of PCBs may contain over 100 compounds and is a colourless, viscous liquid. The mixture is relatively insoluble in water, is stable at high temperatures, and is a good dielectric (electrical insulator). Because of these qualities, PCBs are particularly useful as lubricants, heat-transfer fluids, and fire-resistant insulating fluids in transformers and capacitors.