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Its chemical formula is C6H5NO2. This is an oily liquid, not soluble in water, which can be colourless or light yellow, with a strong smell of bitter almonds.

Frozen nitrobenzene has the shape of yellowish-green crystals.


Nitrobenzene was produced for the first time in 1834, by the German scientist Eilhardt Mitscherlich. The process used at the time is still used nowadays: treating benzene with a mix of water, nitric acid and sulphuric acid, at 60°C. In CUF, Nitrobenzene is supplied in bulk or in barrels.

Over 90% of the currently produced Nitrobenzene is used in producing Aniline, and the remainder is used mainly in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry. In the lab, it's sometimes used as solvent. Re-distilled, it turns into "mirbane oil", a perfume that's commonly used in soaps manufacture. The manufacture of the well-known paracetamol also requires Nitrobenzene.