Benzyl Chloride

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  • Benzyl chloride, or α-chlorotoluene, is an organic compound with the formula C6H5CH2Cl this colourless liquid is a reactive organochlorine compound that is a widely used chemical building block

  • Benzyl chloride was first prepared from treatment of benzyl alcohol with hydrochloric acid.

  • Benzyl chloride is a colorless to slightly yellow liquid with a pungent, aromatic odor it is soluble in alcohol, ether, and chloroform, and is insoluble in water.

  • It is very refractive.

  • Benzyl chloride is combustible and is corrosive to metal it reacts with steam and oxidizing agents and is slowly hydrolyzed by water (HSDB)

  • Benzyl chloride is also known as chlorophenylmethane, chloromethylbenzene, alpha-chlorotoluene and tolyl chloride.

  • This colorless liquid has a distinctively acrid odor highly reactive, its flash point is 67 degrees C, or 152.5 F flash point is the lowest temperature at which a liquid can vaporize and be ignited when mixed with air.

  •  Since this chemical is so reactive, stablizers such as propylene oxide or trimethylamine are usually  added to prevent undesired reactions.

  •  Mixing benzyl choride with water produces toxic fumes.

  • The cyanuric acid can be used to prepare sodium cyanide reacting sodium cyanide and benzyl chloride will give benzyl cyanide, a useful reagent.

  • The toluene distilled off should be well shaken with sodium bicarbonate until it registers neutral  it is then dried using magnesium sulfate or calcium chloride can be filtered and used directly from this to produce more benzyl chlorid industrially, benzyl chloride is the precursor to benzyl esters which are used as plasticizer, flavorants, and perfumes.

  • Phenylacetic acid, a precursor to pharmaceuticals, arises via benzyl cyanide, which is generated by treatment of benzyl chloride with sodium cyanide.

  • Quaternary ammonium salts, used as surfactants, are readily formed by alkylation of tertiary amines with benzyl chloride

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