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Product name nitrobenzene
Synonyms oil of mirbane
GOST no data
CAS 98-95-3

Nitrobenzene is a colorless or yellowish-green oily poisonous liquid with bitter almond-like odor. It is fully miscible in diethyl ether, benzene, toluene; soluble in most organic solvents; only slightly soluble in water (0.19% by mass at 20°C), but undergoes water steam distillation. Nitrobenzene is a simplest aromatic nitro-derivative. It can be reduced with metals such as zinc in acid medium to form aniline. Nucleophilic substitution in nitrobenzene occurs easier than in benzene and yields to ortho- and para-positions. Thus interaction with potassium hydroxide KOH at 100°C results in o-nitrophenol. Electrophilic substitution take place in meta-position.


Nitrobenzene is manufactured commercially by nitration of benzene with a mixture of concentrated nitric and sulfuric acids in a continuous process. Yield is 96-99%.


Nitrobenzene is used:

  • as a raw material in making of aniline and other nitrogen-containing aromatic compounds, such as benzidine, quinoline, azobenzene, methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) and others;
  • as a reagent and intermediate compound in the preparation of rubber chemicals, pesticides, dyes, and pharmaceuticals. A significant merchant market for nitrobenzene is its use in the production of the analgesic paracetamol (also known as acetaminophen).
  • as a solvent for cellulose esters;
  • in shoe and floor polishes, leather dressings, paint solvents, and other materials;
  • in Kerr cells, as it has an unusually large Kerr constant;

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    Chemical structure of nitrobenzene

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