Tuesday September 13th, 2016 00:36 Chemistry Experiment:Synthesis of Benzene by Dry Distillation

Benzene is prepared by dry distillation of sodium benzoate and calcium hydroxide powders.

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    25 Comments on “Chemistry Experiment:Synthesis of Benzene by Dry Distillation”

    • ytmachx July 13, 2010 at 11:24 am

      @viclorwow I don’t know if gasoline can be successfully fractionated, or if it is worth the trouble.

    • lexichronicle2 October 4, 2010 at 8:18 pm

      ah, nice, nice…. a very handy solvent, and not one that’s at all readily available due to the cancer issues of supplying it OTC.

      for those worried about the cancer, it’s worth noting that sodium benzoate is a preservative. if you eat a lot of preprocessed food / drink concentrate based beverages, there’s a good chance it’ll be in there.

      as the products are stored on the shelves, the preservative breaks down, releasing benzene.

      which you then eat.

    • lexichronicle2 October 4, 2010 at 8:21 pm

      I remember thinking benzene was a particularly nice molecule in chemistry, the idea of it being so simple, and having those double bonds resonating around inside them. it was at those early stages, realizing that the precise pictures in the textbooks aren’t always precise. “the bonds aren’t in any one place all of the time”. same with electron orbits, that they’re like shells of energy as opposed to two dots floating around

    • Manulepoilu October 10, 2010 at 6:17 am

      Hello ! Your video is very interesting. Can you tell me at which temperature °C, the reaction starts ? I’ve tried with benzoïc acid and quicklime, but the result was not really the same as yours. Thanks for replying.

    • ytmachx October 10, 2010 at 7:57 am

      @Manulepoilu I really don’t know the reaction temperature but, the bottom of the reaction vessel is red hot when it’s working good.

    • Manulepoilu October 11, 2010 at 5:46 am

      Hello again, do you think it could work if I use a flask and a flask heater ? If you don’t know, don’t mind. I will try. I’ve changed now my whole benzoic acid I got into the sodium salt. I think, the quicklime was not appropriated because of its oxidizing character. Anyway. Take care. Best regards from Geneva-Switzerland.

    • ytmachx October 11, 2010 at 6:56 am

      @Manulepoilu Glass doesn’t work well because it breaks when heated with a dry powder inside. Lime works well for the process.

    • Manulepoilu October 11, 2010 at 11:32 pm

      Ok, Thanks for replying. and one last question if you don’t mind. To have this quantity of benzene, how many sodium benzoate and calcium hydroxyde did you use ? It’s because, I would roughly know the yield ! Thanks anyway. Take care. All the best. Manulepoilu.

    • ytmachx October 12, 2010 at 9:53 am

      @Manulepoilu I used more than 5lbs of sodium benzoate

    • Manulepoilu October 12, 2010 at 8:16 pm

      Thanks for your reply. I’m sorry to bother you again but I can’t find a translation for the three letters OTC. Do you know what it means ? Thanks again and I promise not to bother you anymore !!! Cheers.

    • ytmachx October 13, 2010 at 10:21 am

      @Manulepoilu Over The Counter

    • Manulepoilu October 13, 2010 at 10:26 pm

      Ok. Great. Take care. All the best ! Thanks so much for your kind cooperation.

    • vmelkon October 20, 2010 at 12:00 am

      Interesting reaction. I didn’t even know that benzoate had a benzene ring 🙂

    • ytmachx October 20, 2010 at 2:10 am

      @vmelkon Quite a few things do.

    • 10BladeRunner October 23, 2010 at 1:21 pm


    • TheBubaSqua January 30, 2011 at 12:48 pm

      Is the first distillation done in a non glass retort because of messy residue?

    • ytmachx January 31, 2011 at 1:37 am

      @TheBubaSqua It is because glass will break. Metal can get red hot without any problems.

    • ytmachx April 25, 2011 at 4:01 am

      @h0meIandsecurity No, not at all.

    • vmelkon September 20, 2011 at 2:37 am

      Does it freeze at 5.5 °C?

    • ytmachx September 20, 2011 at 7:30 am

      @vmelkon Yes

    • dekitai20 November 6, 2011 at 9:29 am

      how do you get rid of your benzene wastes?

    • ytmachx November 7, 2011 at 1:11 am

      @dekitai20 There are places that accept/ receive hazardous wastes.

    • dekitai20 November 7, 2011 at 4:33 am

      @ytmachx So you put your waste in a bottle and bring it to the center near you? how do you wash your apparatus? with acetone? If so, you you also bring the acetone washing to the processing center? Thanks for answering  🙂

    • ytmachx November 7, 2011 at 8:22 am

      @dekitai20 Yeah and the glass is washed with MeOH/KOH.

    • dekitai20 November 7, 2011 at 9:15 am

      @ytmachx great, Thanks

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