Aromatic Hydrocarbons

Aromatic Hydrocarbons -Introduction

Aromatic Hydrocarbons have at least 6 number of carbon atoms along with double bonds in the form of a ring structure. This 6-carbon structure in the aromatic hydrocarbons is called as Benzene ring.The other name for these compounds is ‘arenes.’
Aromatic HydrocarbonsThe compounds or hydrocarbons which consist of hydrogen and carbon atoms in it or simple words the compounds which are of carbon-based are termed as Aromatic Hydrocarbons. These compounds are also said to be stable and unsaturated compounds( Compounds which consists of carbon rings) which are cyclic in nature. The best examples of such type of compounds are the benzene and toluene which have the carbon-hydrogen pair in it.

Aromatic Hydrocarbons- Types and Reactions

The different types of Aromatic Hydrocarbon Reactions or Arene reactions are given below-

  • Aromatic Substitution Reaction– In this kind of reaction, one substituent of the benzene ring especially the hydrogen atom is replaced by another type of substituent. This type of reaction is divided into two kinds namely electrophilic aromatic substitution and nucleophilic aromatic substitution. Both of them differ in the type of the reagents used.
  • Coupling reactions– Coupling reactions are those in which the metals gets catalyzed when coupled with radicals. These reactions lead to the formation of carbon to carbon bonds.
  • Hydrogenation– This type of reactions forms saturated rings.
  • Cycloadditions Reactions


We can see a wide number of uses of Aromatic hydrocarbons in our daily life. Some of them are listed below-

  • The green pigment called chlorophyll used for the preparation of food in plants consists of the aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Aromatic Hydrocarbons are present in the nucleic acids of the human body such as the DNA and amino acids.
  • The aromatic hydrocarbon called Methylbenzene is used as a solvent in model glues
  • Naphthalene is used in the manufacture of mothballs
  • Phenanthrene is utilized for the synthesis of drugs, dyes, and explosives
  • Trinitrotoluene or TNT is widely used as an explosive
  • Aromatic hydrocarbons are also utilized in the petrochemical industries as well as in plastic industry.

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons

These are the hydrocarbons which comprise of aromatic rings in fused form. These are found in coal, tar, oil and some of the cooked foods such as smoked fish, burned toast, etc. One of the simple examples of this polycyclic hydrocarbon is the naphthalene. These are said to be pollutants.

Some of the examples of aromatic hydrocarbons are Methylbenzene, Naphthalene, Phenanthrene, Trinitrotoluene, o-dihydroxybenzene, etc.

Practise This Question

According to Lewis concept of acids and bases, ethers are