Toluene is an aromatic hydrocarbon consisting of a CH3 group attached to a phenyl ring. Its chemical formula is C7H8. Toluene is a commonly used solvent and diluent in paint, paint thinner, and certain glues, where it is responsible for those substances' characteristic odors. On its own, toluene is a colorless, insoluble liquid. Other names for it include methylbenzene and phenylmethane.
Brenntag North America is a leading distributor of industrial toluene for a variety of applications. Explore our current inventory of products using the links on this page, or contact a representative directly for assistance.
Properties and Handling Guidelines
The boiling point of toluene is 232 degrees Fahrenheit, or 111 degrees Celsius, while its melting point is -139°F (-95°C). It has a density of 0.87 g/mL and a molar mass of 92.14 g·mol−1. Toluene is a naturally occuring by-product of certain methods of gasoline and coke production. As such, manufacturing toluene in a lab is not generally a cost-effective option. Most industrial toluene is extracted or distilled in a petroleum refinery, using a catalytic refining process.
Toluene is highly flammable and must be handled with caution. Inhalation can cause a range of symptoms, including tiredness, confusion, nausea, and memory loss. Always work with toluene in a well-ventilated area, using proper protective clothing.
USES OF TOLUENE
Toluene is one of the most widely used industrial solvents. Global sales of it exceed $24.5 billion annually. As a solvent, it is capable of dissolving organic compounds that water cannot. Many of its applications take advantage of this fact — toluene is an ingredient in paint thinners, adhesives, metal cleaners, nail polish removers, and correctional fluids, among other products.
Toluene is present in disinfectants, printing inks, silicone sealants, leather tanners, and polyurethane foams. It is used in the synthesis process for certain explosives, as well as in various laboratory testing kits. Toluene is also a fuel additive — one typically reserved for use in high-performance vehicles.
Products available from Brenntag
Brenntag North America sells toluene in various grades and blends for use in multiple industrial applications. We offer urethane-grade toluene, 50-50 toluene/xylene blends, toluene reagents, and more. Working with some of the world's leading chemical suppliers, we are your source for quality products and solutions for virtually any industry. Whether you are looking for something in particular or require assistance choosing the best solvent for your needs, our team will provide the products and expertise you need to meet your goals.
With 190 distribution centers throughout North America, we can quickly fulfill your order and provide on-site service as necessary. We pride ourselves on the strength of relationships with our partners, and we'll work with you to help you run a leaner, smarter, and more transparent supply chain.