Benzene is an organic chemical compound discovered in 1823 by Faraday. Benzene is a solvent and intermediate in the production of nylon, phenolis, styrene and epoxy. Benzene molecules contain only hydrogen and carbon atoms and therefore, classified as a hydrocarbon. Benzene is a natural constituent of petroleum with a high-octane number, very flammable transparent liquid with a sweet smell.
Benzene is mainly used to make used to manufacture other chemical compounds by replacing one or more atoms (hydrogen) with another functional group. Hydrogenation of benzene yields cyclohexane, which is the raw material and solvent used for manufacturing adipic acid, the basic compound of nylon. The compound benzene is toxic and has been declared to be a carcinogen (a substance that is an agent directly involved in causing cancer, also as radiation and radionuclide) and require careful handling. See also heavy metals in the eco-fashion dictionary a-z.
Sources: Van Nostrands Encyclopedia of chemistry 5th Wiley 2005
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