Jul. 13, 2022
Benzaldehyde is a colourless, aromatic liquid that has a pleasant almond-like odour. It quickly evaporates (turns from a liquid to a gas) upon exposure to the air. Benzaldehyde is a colourless liquid with an odour of almond oil. It has a melting point of −26 °C (−14.8 °F) and a boiling point of 179 °C (354.2 °F). It is only slightly soluble in water and is completely soluble in ethanol and diethyl ether.
Benzaldehyde (C6H5CHO), the simplest representative of the aromatic aldehydes, occurs naturally as the glycoside amygdalin. Prepared synthetically, it is used chiefly in the manufacture of dyes, cinnamic acid, and other organic compounds, and to some extent in perfumes and flavouring agents.
Benzaldehyde was first isolated in 1803, and in the 1830s the German chemists Justus von Liebig and Friedrich Wöhler investigated the compound in studies that laid the foundation for the structural theory of organic chemistry. Industrially, benzaldehyde is made by a process in which toluene is treated with chlorine to form benzal chloride, followed by the treatment of benzal chloride with water.
Benzaldehyde is mainly used as a food and flavouring additive and can be found in many foods, including baked goods, frozen dairy, fruit juice, soft candy, gelatin pudding, nonalcoholic beverages, alcoholic beverages, hard candy, and chewing gum.
Benzaldehyde is also used in dyes, fragrances (perfumes, deodorants, etc.), pharmaceuticals (drugs), personal care items(shave gels, moisturizing gels/creams, bath soaps, etc.), as artificial flavouring (cherry and almond flavours), and as an additive for one or more types of tobacco products. It is also used as a solvent for oils, resins, and cellulose fibres.
Everywhere. Benzaldehyde is naturally found in almonds, apples, peaches, cherry and apricot kernels, and other Prunus species. Benzaldehyde can also be naturally found in essential oils including hyacinth, citronella, orris, cinnamon, sassafras, labdanum (“rock rose”)and patchouli (a type of mint). Benzaldehyde has also been found in melon, grapes, tea and whisky. Benzaldehyde can also be found in combustion by-products in car and truck exhaust, wood fires and tobacco smoke.
A Swedish study of indoor dust detected benzaldehyde in 373 out of 389 homes. This suggests that the occurrence in the home would reflect its widespread use in household products. (Nilsson et al, 2005).
Benzaldehyde is not a persistent chemical, meaning it does not stay long in the environment. If released into the atmosphere, benzaldehyde is broken down quickly by the air and sunlight and has a half-life of about 30 hours. Benzaldehyde can be carried as dust particles in the air and can be removed by rain and fallout. If released into soil or water, it is expected to biodegrade.
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