Dimethylbenzenes or xyloles (from other Greek: ξύλον “tree”) are aromatic hydrocarbons consisting of a benzene ring and two methyl groups. The chemical formula is (CH3) 2C6H4. Xylenes are obtained by coking coal or from oil by catalytic reforming of a straight-run gasoline fraction. They are mainly used as solvents.
- as solvents of varnishes, phalasses, mastics, etc. They are used in the synthesis of dyes.
-para-xylene is used as a raw material for the synthesis of terephthalic acid - an intermediate for the production of polyethylene terephthalate.
-ortho-xylene is used in the production of dioctyl phthalates and other phthalic acid esters - plasticizers for PVC. The purification of xylenes used as solvents is similar to the purification of toluene with the difference that they form an azeotropic mixture with water, but boil at a temperature much higher than its boiling point; thus they can be purified by simple distillation
Xylene is recommended to be used as a filling liquid for thermometers designed to work in reaction mixtures exposed to microwave radiation, since it has very small dielectric losses and will not be heated by radiation
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