Toluene

Toluene

1.00

Other names: Phenyl methane, Toluol, Anisen, Methyl benzene

Toluene, also known as toluol, is an aromatic hydrocarbon. It is a colorless, water-insoluble liquid with the smell associated with paint thinners. It is a mono-substituted benzene derivative, consisting of a CH3 group attached to a phenyl group. As such, its IUPAC systematic name is methylbenzene. Toluene is predominantly used as an industrial feedstock and a solvent.

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Description

Toluene is mainly used as a precursor to benzene via hydrodealkylation:

C6H5CH3 + H2 → C6H6 + CH4

The second ranked application involves its disproportionation to a mixture of benzene and xylene. When oxidized it yields benzaldehyde and benzoic acid, two important intermediates. In addition to the synthesis of benzene and xylene, toluene is a feedstock for toluene diisocyanate (used in the manufacture of polyurethane foam), trinitrotoluene (the explosive, TNT), and a number of synthetic drugs.