|Infobox on Aromatics|
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Description / Application
An aromatic hydrocarbon or arene (or sometimes aryl hydrocarbon) is a hydrocarbon with alternating double and single bonds between carbons. The term 'aromatic' was assigned before the physical mechanism determining aromaticity was discovered, and was derived from the fact that many of the compounds have a sweet scent. The configuration of six carbon atoms in aromatic compounds is known as a benzene ring, after the simplest possible such hydrocarbon, benzene. Aromatic hydrocarbons can be monocyclic (MAH) or polycyclic (PAH).
The aromatic products, benzene, toluene and xylene (BTX), are used as intermediates for the production of chemicals, as solvents and for gasoline blending. The majority of aromatic production in Europe is petroleum-based. Styrene, cyclohexane and, to a lesser extent, phenol, are also produced during this process. Of the three aromatics, xylene is used most extensively in the chemical industry. Mixed xylenes (ortho-xylene and para-xylene) have been used in the manufacture of polyester fibres and films since the 1950s. Aromatics are also used in the production of alkyd resins, unsaturated polyester resins and plasticizers.
The name Aromatics is due to the strong and not unpleasant odour characteristics of most substances of this nature. The term ‘aromatic’ is often used in the perfume and fragrance industries to describe essential oils which are not aromatic in the chemical sense.
Risk factors Hazard Carcinogen. Highly toxic. Flammable; dangerous fire risk