Benzyl bromide, or α-bromotoluene, is an organic compound consisting of a benzene ring substituted with a bromomethyl group. It can be prepared by the bromination of toluene at room temperature in air, using manganese(IV) oxide as a heterogeneous catalyst. It is a colorless liquid that is decomposed slowly in water.
Benzyl bromide is a strong lachrymator and is also intensely irritating to skin and mucous membranes. Because of these properties, it has been used as a war gas.
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