CAS number 98-95-3 YesY
PubChem 7416
ChemSpider 7138 YesY
KEGG C06813 YesY
ChEBI CHEBI:27798 YesY
RTECS number QJ0525000
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Molecular formula C6H5NO2
Molar mass 123.06 g/mol
Appearance yellowish liquid
Density 1.199 g/cm3
Melting point

5.7 °C

Boiling point

210.9 °C

Solubility in water 0.19 g/100 ml at 20 °C
EU classification Toxic (T)
Carc. Cat. 3
Repr. Cat. 3
Dangerous for the environment (N)
R-phrases R10, R23/24/25, R40,
R48/23/24, R51/53, R62
S-phrases (S1/2), S28, S36/37,
S45, S61
NFPA 704
NFPA 704.svg
Flash point 88 °C
525 °C
Related compounds
Related compounds Aniline
Benzenediazonium chloride
 N (verify) (what is: YesY/N?)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox references

Nitrobenzene is an organic compound with the chemical formula C6H5NO2. It is a water-insoluble pale yellow oil with an almond-like odor. It freezes to give greenish-yellow crystals. It is produced on a large scale as a precursor to aniline. Although occasionally used as a flavoring or perfume additive, nitrobenzene is highly toxic in large quantities. In the laboratory, it is occasionally used as a solvent, especially for electrophilic reagents.



Nitrobenzene is prepared by nitration of benzene with a mixture of concentrated sulfuric acid, water, and nitric acid. This mixture is sometimes called "mixed acid." The production of nitrobenzene is one of the more dangerous processes conducted in the chemical industry because of the exothermicity of the reaction (ΔH = −117 kJ/mol).[1]


World capacity for nitrobenzene in 1985 was about 1.7×106 tonnes.[1]

Mechanism of nitration

The reaction pathway entails formation of an adduct between the Lewis acidic nitronium ion (NO2+) and benzene. The nitronium ion is generated in situ by the reaction of nitric acid and an acidic dehydration agent, typically sulfuric acid:

HNO3 + H+ is in equilibrium with NO2+ + H2O


Approximately 95% of nitrobenzene is consumed in the production of aniline,[1] which is a precursor to rubber chemicals, pesticides, dyes, explosives, and pharmaceuticals.

Specialized applications

Nitrobenzene is also used in shoe and floor polishes, leather dressings, paint solvents, and other materials to mask unpleasant odors. Redistilled, as oil of mirbane, nitrobenzene has been used as an inexpensive perfume for soaps. A significant merchant market for nitrobenzene is its use in the production of the analgesic paracetamol (also known as acetaminophen) (Mannsville 1991).[2] Nitrobenzene is also used in Kerr cells, as it has an unusually large Kerr constant.

Organic reactions

Aside from its conversion to aniline, nitrobenzene is readily converted to related derivatives such as azobenzene,[3] nitrosobenzene,[4] and phenylhydroxylamine.[5] The nitro- group is deactivating, thus substitution tends to occur at the meta-position.


Nitrobenzene is highly toxic (Threshold Limit Value 5 mg/m3) and readily absorbed through the skin.

Prolonged exposure may cause serious damage to the central nervous system, impair vision, cause liver or kidney damage, anemia and lung irritation. Inhalation of fumes may induce headache, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, cyanosis, weakness in the arms and legs, and in rare cases may be fatal. The oil is readily absorbed through the skin and may increase heart rate, cause convulsions or rarely death. Ingestion may similarly cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and gastrointestinal irritation, loss of limbs and also causes internal bleeding.

Nitrobenzene is considered a likely human carcinogen by the United States Environmental Protection Agency,[6] and is classified by the IARC as a Group 2B carcinogen which is "possibly carcinogenic to humans".[7] It has been shown to cause liver, kidney, and thyroid adenomas and carcinomas in rats.


  1. ^ a b c Gerald Booth (2007). "Nitro Compounds, Aromatic". In: Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. John Wiley & Sons: New York. doi:10.1002/14356007.a17_411
  2. ^ Bhattacharya A.; Purohit V. C.; Suarez, V.; Tichkule, R; Parmer, G.; Rinaldi, F. (2006). "One-step reductive amidation of nitro arenes: application in the synthesis of Acetaminophen". Tetrahedron Letters 47 (11): 1861–1864. doi:10.1016/j.tetlet.2005.09.196. 
  3. ^ Bigelow, H. E.; Robinson, D. B. (1955), "Azobenzene", Org. Synth., ; Coll. Vol. 3: 103 
  4. ^ G. H. Coleman, C. M. McCloskey, F. A. Stuart, "Nitrosobenzene", Org. Synth., ; Coll. Vol. 3: 668 
  5. ^ O. Kamm, "β-Phenylhydroxylamine", Org. Synth., ; Coll. Vol. 1: 445 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Agents Classified by the IARC Monographs, International Agency for Research on Cancer

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Nitrobenzene — Nitrobenzène Nitrobenzène Général Synonymes Nitrobenzol Nitrophène Essence de mirbane No CAS …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Nitrobenzène — Général Synonymes Nitrobenzol Nitrophène Essence de mirbane No CAS …   Wikipédia en Français

  • nitrobenzène — [ nitrobɛ̃zɛn ] n. m. • 1903; nitrobenzine 1838; de nitro et benzène ♦ Dérivé nitré du benzène (C6H5NO2), liquide toxique, huileux, utilisé en parfumerie (essence de mirbane), dans la fabrication d explosifs, dans l industrie des colorants. ⇒… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Nitrobenzene — Ni tro*ben zene (? or ?), n. [Nitro + benzene.] (Chem.) A yellow aromatic liquid ({C6H5.NO2}), produced by the action of nitric acid on benzene, and called from its odor {imitation oil of bitter almonds}, or {essence of mirbane}. It is used in… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • nitrobenzene — /nitroben dzɛne/ s.m. [comp. di nitro e benzene ]. (chim.) [nitroderivato velenoso del benzene, dall odore di mandorle amare, largamente usato per produrre benzidina e altri composti organici e in profumeria] ▶◀ nitrobenzolo …   Enciclopedia Italiana

  • nitrobenzene — [nī΄trōben′zēn΄] n. a poisonous yellow liquid, C6H5NO2, prepared by treating benzene with nitric acid, used in making aniline, as a solvent, etc …   English World dictionary

  • nitrobenzene — /nuy troh ben zeen, ben zeen /, n. Chem. a pale yellow, toxic, water soluble liquid, C6H5NO2, produced by nitrating benzene with nitric acid: used chiefly in the manufacture of aniline. Also called nitrobenzol /nuy troh ben zawl, zol/. [1865 70;… …   Universalium

  • nitrobenzene — nitrobenzenas statusas T sritis chemija formulė C₆H₅NO₂ atitikmenys: angl. nitrobenzene rus. нитробензол …   Chemijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • nitrobenzene — noun Etymology: International Scientific Vocabulary Date: 1868 a poisonous yellow oily liquid C6H5NO2 with an almond odor that is used especially in chemical synthesis (as of aniline) …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • nitrobenzene — noun A nitro derivative of benzene, CHNO, prepared by reacting benzene with a mixture of nitric and sulphuric acids; any of a series of such compounds having two or more nitro groups Syn: nitrobenzol, oil of mirbane See Also: nitrobenzyl …   Wiktionary

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