CAS number 100-47-0 YesY
PubChem 7505
ChemSpider 7224 YesY
KEGG C09814 YesY
ChEBI CHEBI:27991 YesY
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Molecular formula C7H5N
Molar mass 103.04 g/mol
Density 1.0 g/ml
Melting point

−13 °C

Boiling point

188–191 °C

Solubility in water <0.5 g/100 ml (22 °C)
Refractive index (nD) 1.5280
EU Index 608-012-00-3
EU classification Harmful (Xn)
R-phrases R21/22
S-phrases (S2), S23
NFPA 704
NFPA 704.svg
Flash point 75 °C
550 °C
Explosive limits 1.4–7.2%
 YesY (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

Benzonitrile is the chemical compound with the formula C6H5CN, abbreviated PhCN. This aromatic organic compound is colourless, with a sweet almond odour. It is prepared by the dehydration of benzamide, or by the reaction of sodium cyanide with bromobenzene.



Benzonitrile is a useful solvent and a versatile precursor to many derivatives. It reacts with amines to afford N-substituted benzamides after hydrolysis,[1] It is a precursor to Ph2C=NH (b.p. 151 °C, 8 mm Hg) via reaction with phenylmagnesium bromide followed by methanolysis.[2]

Benzonitrile can form coordination complexes with late transition metals that are both soluble in organic solvents and conveniently labile, e.g. PdCl2(PhCN)2. The benzonitrile ligands are readily displaced by stronger ligands, making benzonitrile complexes useful synthetic intermediates.[3]


Benzonitrile was discovered by Hermann Fehling in 1844. He heated ammonium benzoate until it decomposed, and one of the products was benzonitrile. He was able to determine the structure of the product from the already known analogue reaction of ammonium formate yielding hydrocyanic acid. He also coined the name benzonitrile which gave the name to all the group of nitriles.[4]


  1. ^ Cooper, F.C.; Partridge, M. W. (1963), "N-Phenylbenzamidine", Org. Synth., ; Coll. Vol. 4: 769 
  2. ^ Pickard, P. L.; Tolbert, T. L. (1973), "Diphenyl Ketimine", Org. Synth., ; Coll. Vol. 5: 520 
  3. ^ Gordon K. Anderson, Minren Lin (1990). "Bis(Benzonitrile)Dichloro Complexes of Palladium and Platinum". Inorganic Syntheses. Inorganic Syntheses 28: 60–63. doi:10.1002/9780470132593.ch13. ISBN 9780470132593. 
  4. ^ Hermann Fehling (1844). "Ueber die Zersetzung des benzoësauren Ammoniaks durch die Wärme". Annalen der Chemie und Pharmacie 49 (1): 91–97. doi:10.1002/jlac.18440490106. 

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Benzonitrile — structure et représentations du benzonitrile Général Nom IUPAC benzonitrile …   Wikipédia en Français

  • benzonitrile — ● benzonitrile nom masculin Nitrile de formule C6H5―C≡N obtenu industriellement par action du cyanure de potassium sur le benzènesulfonate de potassium ou par ammoxydation du toluène. (C est un excellent solvant.) ● benzonitrile (synonymes) nom… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • benzonitrile — benznitrilas statusas T sritis chemija formulė C₆H₅CN atitikmenys: angl. benzonitrile rus. бензонитрил ryšiai: sinonimas – benzenkarbonitrilas …   Chemijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • benzonitrile oxide — benznitrilo oksidas statusas T sritis chemija formulė C₆H₅CNO atitikmenys: angl. benzonitrile oxide rus. окись бензонитрила …   Chemijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • benzonitrile — /ben zon i tril, ben zoh nuy /, n. Chem. a clear, colorless, viscous, poisonous liquid, C7H5N, used chiefly as an intermediate in organic synthesis. [BENZO + NITRILE] * * * …   Universalium

  • benzonitrile — noun The aromatic nitrile CH CN; it is used as a solvent and has many industrial applications …   Wiktionary

  • benzonitrile — ben·zo·ni·trile …   English syllables

  • benzonitrile — |ben(ˌ)zō|nī.trə̇l noun ( s) Etymology: German benzonitril, from benz + nitril nitrile : a colorless toxic oily compound C6H5CN of almond oil odor made by fusing a mixture of sodium cyanide and sodium benzenesulfonate and in other ways and used… …   Useful english dictionary

  • 100-47-0 — Benzonitrile Benzonitrile structure et représentations du benzonitrile Général Nom IUPAC …   Wikipédia en Français

  • C7H5N — Benzonitrile Benzonitrile structure et représentations du benzonitrile Général Nom IUPAC …   Wikipédia en Français

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