Benzyl alcohol is an aromatic alcohol with the formula C6H5CH2OH. The benzyl group is often abbreviated "Bn" (not to be confused with "Bz" which is used for benzoyl), thus benzyl alcohol is denoted as BnOH. Benzyl alcohol is a colorless liquid with a mild pleasant aromatic odor. It is a useful solvent due to its polarity, low toxicity, and low vapor pressure. Benzyl alcohol is partially soluble in water (4 g/100 mL) and completely miscible in alcohols and diethyl ether. |
Benzyl alcohol also works as an anesthetic, so it is sometimes added to formulas that relieve itching, especially eye products. Most of the time, you’ll find this ingredient in bath products, soaps and detergents, eye makeup, blushes, cleansing products, shaving products, makeup, and blush, as well as in hair, nail, and other skin care products.
CAS Registry Number:100-51-6
Solubility:4.29 g/100 mL (20°C) in water
Chemical Properties: colourless liquid
General Description: A clear colorless liquid with a pleasant odor. Slightly denser than water. Flash point 194°F. Boiling point 401°F. Contact may irritate skin, eyes, and mucous membranes. May be slightly toxic by ingestion. Used to make other chemicals.
Air & Water: Reactions: Slightly soluble in water.
Reactivity Profile: Attacks plastics. Acetyl bromide reacts violently with alcohols or water . Mixtures of alcohols with concentrated sulfuric acid and strong hydrogen peroxide can cause explosions. Example: an explosion will occur if dimethylbenzylcarbinol is added to 90% hydrogen peroxide then acidified with concentrated sulfuric acid. Mixtures of ethyl alcohol with concentrated hydrogen peroxide form powerful explosives. Mixtures of hydrogen peroxide and 1-phenyl-2-methyl propyl alcohol tend to explode if acidified with 70% sulfuric acid. Alkyl hypochlorites are violently explosive. They are readily obtained by reacting hypochlorous acid and alcohols either in aqueous solution or mixed aqueous-carbon tetrachloride solutions. Chlorine plus alcohols would similarly yield alkyl hypochlorites. They decompose in the cold and explode on exposure to sunlight or heat. Tertiary hypochlorites are less unstable than secondary or primary hypochlorites . Base-catalysed reactions of isocyanates with alcohols should be carried out in inert solvents. Such reactions in the absence of solvents often occur with explosive violence .
Health Hazard: Inhalation of vapor may cause irritation of upper respiratory tract. Prolonged or excessive inhalation may result in headache, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In severe cases, respiratory stimulation followed by respiratory and muscular paralysis, convulsions, narcosis and death may result. Ingestion may produce severe irritation of the gastrointestinal tract, followed by nausea, vomiting, cramps and diarrhea; tissue ulceration may result. Contact with eyes causes local irritation. Material can be absorbed through skin with anesthetic or irritant effect.
Fire Hazard: Benzyl alcohol is combustible.
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