Benzene is a colorless liquid with a sweet odor. It is very flammable.
In the last century, benzene was obtained by heating the coal to make coke. Today benzene is obtained mainly from petroleum.
Formerly used - as solvent in the laboratory - for decaffeinated coffee - to dissolve paints - as a stain remover and cleaner - in the manufacture of rubbers - as an additive to improve gasoline octane
Today used in the chemical industry as raw material for the manufacture of - polystyrene: polystyrene - polycarbonates polycarbonate bottle - epoxy resins epoxy glue - phenolic resins bakelite phone - nylon (polyamide) nylon
Very dangerous substance: - His breathing leads to headaches, dizziness, and death. - Long term exposure damages the spinal cord (leading to anemia) and further the immune system leading to infections. - Its carcinogenic properties are proven. It causes especially leukemia.
The benzene is substituted in many applications by toluene (methylbenzene), less hazardous:toluene