Benzene Benzene, C (6) H (6), is a clear, colorless, flammable liquid that is insoluble in water. Its boiling point is 80 degrees C (176 degrees F). In the past benzene was obtained from the distillation of coal in the absence of air. Today most benzene is made synthetically from petroleum products. The benzene is a closed ring of six atoms connected by bonds that resonate between single and double bonds; each carbon is also bound to a single atom. Benzene is insoluble in water but mixes in all proportions with organic.

Benzene is itself an excellent solvent for certain and for most simple organic chemicals. It is one of the most commonly used solvents in the organic chemical laboratory. If inhaled in large quantities, benzene is poisonous. The vapors are explosive and the liquid violently flammable. Many compounds are obtained from benzene. It is also used in the manufacture of and in the production of important derivatives.

Benzene and its derivatives are included in the important chemical group known as. When mixed with a large proportion of, benzene makes a satisfactory. In Europe, benzene mixed with other compounds has long been added to motor fuels. Benzene was isolated in 1825 by Michael Faraday, but its structure remained a mystery for 40 years.

The problem was perplexing because the C (6) H (6) formula indicated a high degree of un saturation, but benzene does not display the reactivity characteristic of such compounds. In 1865, German chemist Friedrich August Kek ule von Stradonitz proposed that benzene is structurally a planar hexagon in which the six carbon atoms are joined by alternating single and double bonds. Because this simplistic structure could not account for all of the unique properties of benzene and its derivatives, German chemist Johannes Thiele suggested in 1899 that the bonds between carbon atoms exhibit resonance. That is, each bond oscillates between being a double and a single bond (see aromatic compounds). In modern chemistry, benzene is generally considered to have six identical carbon-carbon bonds, each lying somewhere between a single and a double bond. This has been verified by studies showing that the carbon-carbon bond distance in benzene is 0.

139 nanometers, which lies between the single carbon-carbon bond distance of 0. 154 nanometers and the double carbon-carbon bond distance of 0. 134 nanometers. Benzene is an excellent solvent. Its main use, however, is in the preparation of other compounds.

The compounds prepared from benzene, in the order of quantity produced, are styrene, for polymerization; phenol; detergents; aniline, for dyes; and chlorine-containing compounds. Other uses include the production of pharmaceuticals, varnishes, and plastics. Inhalation or ingestion of benzene causes acute irritation of the mucous membrane, producing restlessness and convulsions and sometimes resulting in death from respiratory failure. Harmful amounts may be absorbed through the skin, causing leukemia and other cancers. Benzene is the parent compound of all aromatic compounds. It is usually illustrated as a hexagon with its points representing each of six carbon atoms.

If no other atoms are shown as being attached to each point of the hexagon, then a hydrogen atom is presumed to be attached. Each of the carbon atoms is illustrated as being joined to its two neighbors by either a single or a double line. These lines represent single and double bonds respectively. Two alternate arrangements of these bonds are possible..