# Toluene

## What is Toluene?

Toluene is a liquid, which is colorless, water-insoluble and smells like paint thinners. It is a mono-substituted colorless liquid, consisting of a CH3 group that is attached to a phenyl group.

Toluene is widely used as an industrial raw material and a solvent for manufacturing of many commercial products, including paints and glues.

## Chemical Properties

Toluene more reactive to electrophiles than the benzene. Due to the greater part of methyl group than the electron-releasing properties, it reacts normal fragrant in the same position. It faces sulfonation to provide an acid called p-toluenesulfonic and chlorination by Cl2 in the presence of FeCl3 to give ortho and para isomers of chlorotoluene.

## Toluene Uses

Toluene is largely used as a benzene:

$C_{6}H_{5}CH_{3}+H_{2}\rightarrow C_{6}H_{6}+CH_{4}$

While the second most used application involves its disproportionate to a mixture of benzene and xylene.

Precursor to other chemicals: Along with the synthesis of benzene and xylene, toluene is used in the manufacture of the following

• Polyurethane foam
• Trinitrotoluene – Explosive
• TNT
• Synthetic Drugs.

Solvent: Toluene is a common solvent used for the following:

• Glues
• Paints
• Paint Thinners
• Printing Ink
• Rubber
• Leather Tanners
• Silicone Sealants
• Chemical Reactants
• Lacquers
• Disinfectants.

Fuel: It can be used in internal combustion engines as gasoline fuel.

Niche applications: It is used as a solvent for carbon nanomaterials, nanotubes and fullerenes.

#### Practise This Question

Chlorination of methane is an example of: