A clear, colorless, volatile aromatic solvent. Benzene was first isolated by Faraday in 1825. It is obtained from the destructive distillation of coal and oil. The industrial grade distillation fraction sold as benzol contains about 65% benzene, 33% toluene plus 2% other aromatic compounds. Benzene was formerly a commonly used solvent for waxes, resins, oils, rubber, and paint removers, but this was discontinued because of its toxicity. It is now used primarily for the manufacture of styrene polymers, aromatic chlorides, and some dyes.
Synonyms and Related Terms
Miscible with ethanol, ether, acetone, carbon tetrachloride, carbon disulfide, acetic acid, oils. Slightly soluble in water.
|Molecular Weight||mol. wt. = 78.1|
Hazards and Safety
Known carcinogen. Toxic in ingestion and inhalation. Skin contact causes irritation and dissolves fat. Flammable and explosive. Dangerous fire risk. Burns with a sooty flame.
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