Toluene is an organic compound with molecular formula of C6H5CH3; C7H8 and molecular mass 92.141 g/mol. At ambient temperature, it is liquid, healing colored, solvent in water, with a similar odor to thinner. Toluene is One of the most important products of the chemical industry in the world, and many materials are derived from it. The variety of toluene derivatives of petrochemicals and their use in various industries has made this product a strategic commodity. And so the price fluctuations of toluene affects many of the manufacturing industries.
Low amounts of toluene are naturally present in crude oil. but in refinery processes, toluene is produced as a byproduct of the gasoline production process by a catalytic reformer or ethylene cracker; It is also a byproduct of the production of coke from coal. At the end, the separation of this component can be done using conventional separation techniques such as distillation or extraction.
Preparation of toluene is generally used to produce benzene or para-xylene to produce polyethylene terephthalate (PET), resins or toluene diisocyanates (TDI) Which is used to produce polyurethane. It is also widely used as a solvent in many industries. A major part of toluene production is currently used to produce refined products, especially gasoline. Sometimes toluene is added to the gasoline mixture to increase the octane number. The global production capacity is projected to increase over the years 2017-2022. But growth is concentrated in developing countries, and we will not see growth in the Americas, Western Europe or Japan. In the chart below, you can see the share of each region from the global market.
Applications of Hydroquinone
Petrochemical industry: To produce high-purity benzene and heavier aromatics can use toluene as feedstock. Benzene is also another upstream aromatic composition of the petrochemical industry, which is widely used by many industries.
Solvent: Toluene is commonly used as a solvent. This solvent is used in industries such as paint, leather, printing, glue and many other chemical industries.
Foam: One of the main uses of toluene is the production of dinitrotoluene that is used in toluene diisocyanate production.
Fuel: Refineries use toluene in the same way of xylene as an octane booster for gasoline. In the 80’s, toluene forms 86% of the fuel used in the Formula One racing for turbocharged engines.
Niche applications: In laboratory applications, toluene is also used as a solvent. Especially as a solvent for nano-structure carbons. Also from this combination to order break open red blood cells in order to extract hemoglobin in biochemistry experiments. Sometimes, due to its good thermal transfer properties in the laboratory, toluene uses it as a coolant.
Explosive: Trinitrotoluene explosive synthesis requires toluene. Toluene is nitrated to dinitrotoluene, which is then nitrated to trinitrotoluene.