For most purposes, *benzene can be purified sufficiently by shaking with conc H2SO4 until free from thiophene, then with H2O, dilute NaOH and water, followed by drying (with P2O5, sodium, LiAlH4, CaH2, 4X Linde molecular sieve, or CaSO4, or by passage through a column of silica gel, and for a preliminary drying, CaCl2 is suitable), and distillation. A further purification step to remove thiophene, acetic acid and propionic acid, is crystallisation by partial freezing. The usual contaminants in dry thiophene-free *benzene are non-benzenoid hydrocarbons such as cyclohexane, methylcyclohexane, and heptanes, together with naphthenic hydrocarbons and traces of toluene. Carbonyl-containing impurities can be removed by percolation through a Celite column impregnated with 2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine, phosphoric acid and H2O. (Prepared by dissolving 0.5g DNPH in 6mL of 85% H3PO4 by grinding together, then adding and mixing 4mL of distilled H2O and 10g Celite.) [Schwartz & Parker Anal Chem 33 1396 1961.] *Benzene has been freed from thiophene by refluxing with 10% (w/v) of Raney nickel for 15minutes, after which the nickel is removed by filtration or centrifugation. Dry *benzene is obtained by doubly distilling high purity *benzene from a solution containing the blue ketyl formed by the reaction of sodium-potassium alloy with a small amount of benzophenone. Thiophene has been removed from *benzene (absence of bluish-green coloration when 3mL of *benzene is shaken with a solution of 10mg of isatin in 10mL of conc H2SO4) by refluxing the *benzene (1.25L) for several hours with 40g HgO (freshly precipitated) dissolved in 40mL glacial acetic acid and 300mL of water. The precipitate is filtered off, the aqueous phase is removed and the *benzene is washed twice with H2O, dried and distilled. Alternatively, *benzene dried with CaCl2 has been shaken vigorously for 0.5hour with anhydrous AlCl3 (12g/L) at 25-35o, then decanted, washed with 10% NaOH, and water, dried and distilled. The process is repeated, giving thiophene-free *benzene. [Holmes & Beeman Ind Eng Chem 26 172 1934.] After shaking successively for about an hour with conc H2SO4, distilled water (twice), 6M NaOH, and distilled water (twice), *benzene is distilled through a 3-ft glass column to remove most of the water. Absolute EtOH is added and the *benzene-alcohol azeotrope is distilled. (This low-boiling distillation leaves any non-azeotrope-forming impurities behind.) The middle fraction is shaken with distilled water to remove EtOH, and again redistilled. Final slow and very careful fractional distillation from sodium, then LiAlH4 under N2, removed traces of water and peroxides. [Peebles et al. J Am Chem Soc 82 2780 1960.] *Benzene liquid and vapour are very TOXIC and HIGHLY FLAMMABLE, and all operations should be carried out in an efficient fume cupboard and in the absence of naked flames in the vicinity. [Beilstein 5 H 175, 5 I 95, 5 II 119, 5 III 469.] Rapid purification: To dry benzene, alumina, CaH2 or 4A molecular sieves (3% w/v) may be used (dry for 6hours). Then benzene is distilled, discarding the first 5% of distillate, and stored over molecular sieves (3A, 4A) or Na wire.
ChEBI: A six-carbon aromatic annulene in which each carbon atom donates one of its two 2p electrons into a delocalised pi system. A toxic, flammable liquid byproduct of coal distillation, it is used as an industrial solvent. Benzene is a carcinogen
that also damages bone marrow and the central nervous system.
Benzene,C6H6, also known as benzol, phenyl hydride, phene, cyclohexatriene and coal naptha,is a colorless,flammable liquid. It is an aromatic hydrocarbon that boils at 80.1 DC. It is used as a solvent and an intermediate in manufacturing organic compounds such as styrene and phenol.
Benzene reacts vigorously with allyl chloride or other alkyl halides even at minus 70°C in the presence of ethyl aluminum dichloride or ethyl aluminum sesquichloride. Explosions have been reported [NFPA 491M 1991]. Ignites in contact with powdered chromic anhydride [Mellor 11:235 1946-47]. Incompatible with oxidizing agents such as nitric acid. Mixtures with bromine trifluoride, bromine pentafluoride, iodine pentafluoride, iodine heptafluoride and other interhalogens can ignite upon heating [Bretherick 5th ed. 1995]. Benzene and cyanogen halides yield HCl as a byproduct (Hagedorn, F. H. Gelbke, and Federal Republic of Germany. 2002. Nitriles. In Ullman Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.). The reaction of Benzene and trichloroacetonitrile evolves toxic chloroform and HCl gasses. (Hagedorn, F., H.-P. Gelbke, and Federal Republic of Germany. 2002. Nitriles. In Ullman Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.).
Air & Water Reactions
Highly flammable. Slightly soluble in water.
Behavior in Fire: Vapor is heavier than air and may travel considerable distance to a source of ignition and flash back.
A clear colorless liquid with a petroleum-like odor. Flash point less than 0°F. Less dense than water and slightly soluble in water. Hence floats on water. Vapors are heavier than air.
Dizziness, excitation, pallor, followed by flushing, weakness, headache, breathlessness, chest constriction, nausea, and vomiting. Coma and possible death.