|Chemical Abstract Number (CAS #)||
|Synonyms||Nitrobenzene||Benzene, nitro-||Oil of mirbane
Link to the National Library of Medicine's Hazardous Substances
Database for more details
on this compound.
||EPA Method 524.2||EPA Method 609
||EPA Method 625
||EPA Method 8270
||EPA Method 8260
|Use|| MANUFACTURE OF ANILINE; SOLVENT FOR CELLULOSE ETHERS;
MODIFYING ESTERIFICATION OF CELLULOSE ACETATE; INGREDIENT OF METAL
IN SOAPS, SHOE POLISHES, FOR REFINING LUBRICATING OILS, MFR OF
A PRESERVATIVE IN SPRAY PAINTS, CONSTITUENT OF FLOOR POLISHES,
SUBSTITUTE FOR ALMOND ESSENCE, & IN PERFUME INDUST
USED TO PRODUCE BENZIDINE AND METANILIC ACID AS WELL AS
DINITROBENZENE AND DYES SUCH AS NIGROSINES AND MAGENTA
USED IN THE PRODUCTION OF ISOCYANATES, PESTICIDES, RUBBER CHEMICALS
AND PHARMACEUTICALS (ACETOMINOPHEN)
|Consumption Patterns|| 97% FOR ANILINE; 3% FOR MISC APPLICATIONS INCLUDING USE AS A
SOLVENT AND FOR SYNTHESIS OF DICHLOROANILINES (1974)
ANILINE PRODUCTION, 96%; OTHER PRODUCTION, 4% (1984)
CHEMICAL PROFILE: Nitrobenzene. Aniline, 98%; others, including N-acetyl-p-amino-phenol
CHEMICAL PROFILE: Nitrobenzene. Demand: 1986: 895 million lb; 1987: 930 million lb; 1991
/projected/: 1,100 million lb.
|Apparent Color|| GREENISH-YELLOW CRYSTALS OR YELLOW, OILY LIQUID
|Odor|| ODOR OF VOLATILE OIL ALMOND ; Nitrobenzene has a pungent, shoe-polish smell.
|Boiling Point|| 210.8 DEG C
|Melting Point|| 5.7 DEG C
|Molecular Weight|| 123.11
|Density|| 1.2037 @ 20 DEG C/4 DEG C
|Odor Threshold Concentration|| Odor detection in air: 1.46x10-2 mg/l vapor/, purity not specified.
Odor recogniton in air: 4.70x10-3 ppm, chemically pure.
Odor detection in air: 1.90 ppm, chemically pure.
Nitrobenzene odor low, 0.0235 mg/cu m; odor high, 9.50 mg/cu m.
|Sensitivity Data|| Vapor is moderately irritating such that personnel will not usually tolerate moderate or
high vapor concn. Liquid or solid causes smarting of skin & 1st degree burns on short
|Environmental Impact|| Nitrobenzene is produced in large quantities and may be released to the environment in
emissions and wastewater during its production and use. Since 98% of nitrobenzene is used
captively to produce aniline in 5 regions of the country, industrial releases will be fairly localized.
Nitrobenzene is also produced by the photochemical reaction of benzene with oxides of nitrogen.
This is a general source since benzene is found in petroleum products. It is difficult to estimate the
ambient concentrations of nitrobenzene from this source because available air monitoring data are
for areas of the country near production facilities. If released on land, nitrobenzene would leach
into the soil and probably biodegrade within a few months. If released in wastewater, it should
biodegrade (two experimimental values for half-lives are 1 and 3.8 days). Some volatilization
would be expected, but adsorption to sediment and bioconcentration in aquatic organism should
not be significant. In the atmosphere, nitrobenzene will degrade primarily by photolysis (38%
degradation in 5 hr). Human exposure will be primarily occupational via inhalation of the vapor or
dermal contact with the vapor or liquid.
|Environmental Fate|| TERRESTRIAL FATE: Nitrobenzene is moderately adsorbed to soil and should leach
into the ground if released on land and probably biodegrade within a few months. Nitrobenzene
was completely removed from Rhine River water during soil filtration (bank or dune
infiltration) . Generally bank filtration takes 1-12 months and dune filtration 2-3 months and
the soil microorganism would be well acclimated. In another study, only 60% removal was
obtained during infiltration through dunes consisting of fine-grained sand mixed with clay and
lens-shaped peat layers .
AQUATIC FATE: The half-life of nitrobenzene in the Rhine River in The Netherlands was
estimated to be 1 day by measuring the concn reduction between sampling points . In model
waste stabilization ponds that were continuously fed with a synthetic waste feedstock and
detained for 12 days, 89.5% of the added nitrobenzene was degraded, 4.9% volatilized, 2.3%
adsorbed to sediment, 2.3% was lost in effluent, and 1% remained in the water column . The
biodegradation half-life in the pond was 3.8 days.
ATMOSPHERIC FATE: Nitrobenzene will degrade in the atmosphere primarily by photolysis
(38% degradation in 5 hr in laboratory tests). The rate of reaction with photochemically produced
hydroxyl radicals and ozone is relatively low. Results of modeling studies and field experiments
suggest that wet deposition will have little effect on nitrobenzene loss in plumes within kilometers
of a source .
|Drinking Water Impact|| DRINKING WATER: Nitrobenzene was detected, but not quantified, in finished water
from the Carrollton Water Plant in Louisiana and in drinking water in Cincinnati . In a survey
of 14 treated drinking water supplies of varied sources in England, nitrobenzene was detected in
one supply which came from an upland reservoir .
SURFACE WATER: Of the 836 stations reporting analysis for nitrobenzene in ambient water in
EPA's STORET database, 0.4% contained detectable levels of the chemical . No nitrobenzene
was reported in the Buffalo and Cuyahoga Rivers in the Lake Erie Basin or the St. Joseph River in
the Lake Michigan basin(7). Average and maximum levels of nitrobenzene were 1.7 and 13.8 ppb
in the Waal River and < 0.1 and 0.3 ppb in the Maas River, both in The Netherlands . Rhine
River water in The Netherlands contained 0.5 ppb . A 2-wk composite sample taken from the
Rhine River near Dusseldorf in 1984 contained a mean nitrobenzene concn of 0.42 ppb(6).
Japanese river water and seawater contained 0.16-0.99 ppb of nitrobenzene and it was
detected, but not quantified in seawater in the Kitakyushi area of Japan .
EFFL: In a comprehensive survey of wastewater from 4000 industrial and publicly owned
treatment works (POTWs) sponsored by the Effluent Guidelines Division of the US EPA
nitrobenzene was identified in discharges of the following industrial category (frequency of
occurrence, median concn in ppb): leather tanning (1; 3.7), petroleum refining (1; 7.7), nonferrous
metals (1; 47.7), organics and plastics (13; 3876.7), inorganic chemicals (3; 1995.3), pulp and
paper (1; 124.3), auto and other laundries (1; 40.4), pesticides manufactures (1; 16.3), explosives
(8; 51.7), organic chemicals (36; 43.7) . The highest effluent concn was 100,245 ppb in the
organics and plastics industry . Of the 1245 stations reporting nitrobenzene in industrial
effluents in EPA STORET database, 1.8% contanined detectable levels of the chemical .
Nitrobenzene was detected in the final effluent of 3 POTWs and an oil refinery . Two samplings
of final effluent of the Los Angeles County Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant contained 20
and <10 ppb of nitrobenzene(6). It was not detected in 28 samples of industrial effluents and
polluted fjords in Norway . In the National Urban Runoff Program in which samples of runoff
were collected from 19 cities (51 catchments) in the US, no nitrobenzene was found .
Production losses are estimated to release 8.3 million lbs yearly with principal losses occurring in
the reactor and acid concentration vents as well as the spent acid(7). In one plant, the loss of
nitrobenzene in waste water totaled 0.09% and at another 2.0% of production(7).