How Can You Tell the Difference Between Benzene and Methyl Benzene?


Quick Answer

Benzene and methyl benzene differ in that benzene consists of one aromatic ring with no additional atoms, and methyl benzene consists of an aromatic ring bonded to one methyl group. The chemical formula for benzene is C6H6, and the formula for methyl benzene is C7H8. Because the chemical structures are so similar, benzene and methyl benzene have similar chemical and physical properties.

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Full Answer

Methyl benzene and benzene are both clear, colorless liquids, although benzene may have a slight yellow color. Methyl benzene has a molecular weight of 92.1 grams, and benzene has a molecular weight of 78.1 grams. Benzene boils at a lower temperature than methyl benzene and freezes at a much higher temperature. The liquid densities of the two chemicals are very similar due in large part to the fact that both chemicals are made entirely of carbon and hydrogen and contain an aromatic ring.

Both benzene and methyl benzene are widely used in industry for solvents and as starting compounds for chemical reactions. However, both chemicals are hazardous to human health. Benzene is a carcinogenic and mutagenic compound, while methyl benzene is poisonous if inhaled or ingested. Both benzene and methyl benzene are flammable in addition to being health hazards.

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