Is Toluene Polar or Nonpolar?

Toluene is nonpolar. Nonpolar solvents have bonds between atoms that have related electronegativities, such as carbon and hydrogen. Toluene is a hydrocarbon like gasoline. Polar solvents contain atoms with very different electronegativities, such as hydrogen and oxygen.

Toluene is primarily used as an additive to gasoline in order to improve octane ratings. Toluene is also used in producing benzene and as a solvent in coatings, paints, fragrances, cleaning agents and inks. Toluene also may be used for making polymers that are utilized in producing nylon, plastic bottles, polyurethanes, pharmaceuticals and cosmetic nail products. Breathing air that contains toluene is harmful and depresses the central nervous system.