/tol"yooh een'/, n. Chem.
a colorless, water-insoluble, flammable liquid, C7H8, having a benzenelike odor, obtained chiefly from coal tar and petroleum: used as a solvent in the manufacture of benzoic acid, benzaldehyde, TNT, and other organic compounds. Also called methylbenzene, phenylmethane.
[1870-75; TOLU + -ENE]

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Colourless, flammable, toxic liquid hydrocarbon aromatic compound (C6H5CH3), the methyl derivative of benzene.

Found in coal-tar light oil and in petroleum, it is obtained chiefly from the processing of petroleum fractions. It is used as a solvent, diluent, and thinner; as an antiknock additive in airplane gasoline; and as a raw material for TNT, benzoic acid and its derivatives, saccharin, dyes, photographic chemicals, and pharmaceuticals.

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      aromatic hydrocarbon used extensively as starting material for the manufacture of industrial chemicals. It comprises 15–20 percent of coal-tar light oil and is a minor constituent of petroleum. Both sources provide toluene for commercial use, but larger amounts are made by catalytic reforming of petroleum naphtha. The compound is used in the synthesis of trinitrotoluene (TNT), benzoic acid, saccharin, dyes, photographic chemicals, and pharmaceuticals. It is also used as a solvent and antiknock additive for aviation gasoline. Pure toluene (melting point, -95° C [-139° F]; boiling point, 110.6° C [231.1° F]) is a colourless, flammable, toxic liquid, insoluble in water but soluble in all common organic solvents. Its chemical formula is that of methylbenzene, C6H5CH3.

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Universalium. 2010.

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