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  • Toluene, also known as methylbenzene or phenylmethane.
  • It is a clear, water-insoluble liquid with the typical smell of paint thinners, redolent of the sweet smell of the related compound benzene.
  • Toluene reacts as a normal aromatic hydrocarbon towards electrophilic aromatic substitution. It has a pungent, benzene-like odor
  • Toluene is a clear colorless liquid that has a distinctive, sweet smell.


  • Toluene occurs naturally at low levels in crude oil . It is usually found in car exhaust and the smoke from cigarettes.
  • Toluene is produced from the three main sources Catalytic Reforming of Naphtha, Steam cracking of Naphtha and Coal (Coke-oven light oil redistillation).
  • Toluene is usually produced in the processes of making gasoline via a catalytic reformer, in an ethylene cracker or making coke from coal.
  • Toluene is mainly excreted as benzoic acid and hippuric acid, both formed by further metabolic oxidation of benzyl alcohol.
  • Tolune is also made during the process of refining oil into petrol and other products.


  • Toluene is a common solvent and it is able to dissolve: paints, paint thinners, silicone sealants, many chemical reactants, rubber, printing ink, adhesives (glues), lacquers, leather tanners, and disinfectants.
  • It is also used to make gasoline, acrylic paints, varnishes, glues, rubber cement, and shoe polish.
  • It is also used in the synthesis of many organic chemicals including benzene, phenol and xylene and as a raw material in the production of explosives.
  • Toluene is used to manufacture polymers that are used to make nylon, plastic soda bottles, and polyurethanes and for pharmaceuticals, dyes and cosmetic products.


  • Toluene is a very important chemical worldwide and many millions of tons of toluene are made globally each year.
  • The demand of Toluene is increasing moderately in India at the rate of about 10%.
  • Toluene in future is likely to be surplus in the world market, thereby increasing the market competitiveness.
  • World consumption of toluene in 2007 reached 30 million metric tons, including toluene that was recovered and subsequently blended back into gasoline.

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