Different Types of Benzenoid Compounds and their Uses
Benzene and benzenoid compounds are becoming more and more essential for almost all manufacturing processes across various industries. The different types of benzenoid compounds with their unique physical and chemical properties are playing an important role in processing and manufacturing of several important compounds and products.
High school chemistry classes are Boolean in nature. They are either too interesting or too boring; 0 or 1, nothing in between. Almost everyone has performed precipitation, reduction, and oxidation experiments in their high school years. Broken test-tubes, melted flasks and the pungent smell of the chemistry lab has been part of everyone’s life. Chemistry, whether you find it boring or interesting, has numerous applications in various aspects of life and plays an important role in various industries. All the elements and compounds you’ve studied in your high school or college have played a critical role in today’s world. One such compound is benzene and its associated class of benzenoid. To say benzene is of paramount importance in the contemporary world, would be an understatement. The list of compounds and chemicals in which benzene or benzenoid has been a constituent is very long. While benzene is an organic chemical compound with six carbon and six hydrogen atoms, benzenoid is a class of chemical compounds which contain at least one benzene ring. Benzene structure is often called a “ring”, because the six constituent carbon atoms are joined to each other to form a ring with six hydrogen atoms attached to six corresponding carbon atoms.
Almost all aromatic hydrocarbons are benzenoid; meaning they have at least one benzene ring. The word “aromatic” is a misnomer; neither all aromatic compounds have a sweet odor, nor all compounds with a sweet odor are aromatic compounds. However, since most of the aromatic hydrocarbons are benzenoid, they play a vital role in chemistry. For example, several benzenoid compounds are major constituents of oil and gasoline.
Some Important Benzenoid Compounds and Their Uses
Many indispensable organic compounds contain a benzene ring in them, making them a part of the class of benzenoid. These different compounds and their varied usages have helped the global benzenoid market to grow at an amazing rate. As per Research Dive, the global benzenoid market is predicted to grow at a healthy CAGR of 5.2% in the 2021-2028 timeframe. Some of the benzenoid compounds and their uses are given here:
- Toluene: A naturally occurring compound, toluene is obtained from petroleum processing. It is a water-insoluble, colorless liquid with an odor, similar to that of paint thinners. Toluene or methylbenzene, as it is systematically known is primarily used as a solvent in paint thinners and as a constituent during manufacturing of permanent markers and certain types of glues. It is also used to manufacture contact cement which is used as glue for metal panels, laminates, etc. One unique use of toluene is that it is used in the process of removing cocaine from coca leaves, while manufacturing Coca-Cola.
- Benzoic acid: Occurring naturally in many plants, benzoic acid is a colorless solid. Benzoic acid is used in many medications for treating fungal skin infections and diseases. Also, it is an important constituent of mosquito repellants. Apart from its medicinal use, benzoic acid is used in toothpaste, face creams, face washes, mouthwash, lipstick, etc. Benzoic acid and its’ salts are frequently used as food preservatives.
- Phenol: A white crystalline solid, phenol serves as an important intermediate for several industrial processes and as a precursor to many valuable products. Phenol and its chemical derivatives are used in manufacturing of detergents, Bakelite, polycarbonates, etc. Further, it is also used in the manufacturing of pharmaceutical drugs, especially the ones used for treating sore throats.
- Xylene: Also known as dimethylbenzene, xylene is a highly flammable, colorless liquid. Xylene is of great importance histologically, as it is used in processing and staining of tissues. Xylene is also used as a lubricant and is a constituent of motor oil and brake oil. It is also a constituent of various products like adhesives, waxes, antifreeze, etc.
- Aniline: An organic compound with an odor of rotten fish, aniline is used as a dyeing agent and has extensive use in the rubber industry. It is also used as a pesticide and fungicide. Certain paracetamols have very small amounts of aniline in them.
There are many such benzenoid compounds apart the ones mentioned above, which have several industrial uses. Thus, various benzenoid compounds have become indispensable today because of the vital purpose they serve in different manufacturing processes.
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