Toluene / C₇H₈


Gas Identification

Other denomination
Methylbenzene, Toluol, Phenyl methane
CAS Registry Number
SCBA type

Chemical properties

Molecular formula
Molecular mass
92,1 g/mol

Physical properties

Boiling point
110,58 °C
Autoignition temperature
480 °C
Gas/Vapour density
8,82 eV

Flammability limit

1,1 % v/v
7,1 % v/v

Threshold limit value

20 ppm
100 ppm

Toluene : Description and use


Toluene, also called methylbenzene or phenyl methane, is an aromatic hydrocarbon. The name toluene is derived from the older name toluöl which refers to tolu extract, an aromatic extract that comes from a tropical tree: balsam of Peru. The name was coined by Swedish chemist Jöns Jacob Berzelius. Its synthesis was discovered by Rudolph Fittig. It is often used as a reagent or solvent, particularly in industrial settings. It dissolves a large number of oils, fats, or resins (natural or synthetic).
Under normal conditions, it is a clear liquid with a characteristic odour, similar to that of paint thinners or of benzene.

  • To raise the octane rating of fuel, mixed with benzene and xylenes.
  • As an extraction solvent in the cosmetic industry (perfume) and in the pharmaco-chemical industry.
  • As a solvent or manufacturing element for paint, varnish, lacquer, wax and ink (printing, etc.).
  • As a starting material for several industrial processes: synthesis of rubber, phenol, TNT, toluene diisocyanate (TDI).
  • To manufacture adhesives and glues.
  • In leather tanning.
  • As a coating booster used by some table tennis players (despite being prohibited).

Toluene : Warnings and caution

GHS hazard statements

H225 - Highly flammable liquid and vapour.
H361d - Suspected of damaging the unborn child.
H304 - May be fatal if swallowed and enters airways.
H373 - May cause serious damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure.
H315 - Causes skin irritation.
H336 - May cause drowsiness or dizziness.

GHS precautionary statements

P210 - Keep away from heat, hot surfaces, sparks, open flames, any other source of ignition. No smoking.
P280 - Wear protective gloves/protective clothing/eye protection/face protection.
P302+P352 - IF ON SKIN: Wash with plenty of soap and water.
P308+P313 - IF exposed or concerned: Get medical advice/attention.
P331 - Do NOT induce vomiting.

SGH02 : Inflammable
SGH08 : Sensibilisant, mutagène, cancérogène, reprotoxique
SGH07 : Toxique, irritant, sensibilisant, narcotique