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Absorption and fluorescence emission spectra


Colorless liquid solvent with a Benzene odor. Toluene is produced from the fractional distillation of coal tar. It is used as a solvent for paint, coatings, resins, as well as for most oils, rubber, polymers, and adhesives. Toluene is also used as a component in aviation fuel and for the manufacture of dyestuffs and explosives. Industrial grade toluene has been called toluol.

Synonyms and Related Terms

toluol; methylbenzene; phenylmethane; methyl benzene

Chemical structure



  • Flammable. Flash point = 4C.
  • Toxic by ingestion, inhalation and skin absorption.
  • ThermoFisher: SDS
  • EPA lists toluene as hazardous waste; concentrations over 10% must be disposed of appropriately

Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble in ethanol, benzene, ether. Insoluble in water. Burns with a smoky flame.

Composition C6H5CH3
CAS 108-88-3
Melting Point -94.7 C
Density 0.866 g/ml
Molecular Weight mol. wt.=92.13
Refractive Index 1.4967
Boiling Point 110.7 C


Properties of Common Solvents

Resources and Citations

  • R. J. Gettens, G.L. Stout, Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopaedia, Dover Publications, New York, 1966
  • Reed Kay, The Painter's Guide To Studio Methods and Materials, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1983
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 9667; ref. index=1.4967
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998
  • CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, Robert Weast (ed.), CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, v. 61, 1980 Comment: ref. index=1.494