SPECTRUM

Chemical Fact Sheet

Chemical Abstract Number (CAS #) 98953
CASRN 98-95-3
SynonymsNitrobenzene
Benzene, nitro-
Oil of mirbane

Link to the National Library of Medicine's Hazardous Substances
Database for more details on this compound.

Analytical Methods EPA Method 524.2
EPA Method 609
EPA Method 625
EPA Method 8270
EPA Method 8260
Molecular FormulaC6H5NO2
Use MANUFACTURE OF ANILINE; SOLVENT FOR CELLULOSE ETHERS; MODIFYING ESTERIFICATION OF CELLULOSE ACETATE; INGREDIENT OF METAL POLISHES IN SOAPS, SHOE POLISHES, FOR REFINING LUBRICATING OILS, MFR OF PYROXYLIN CMPD 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 (acetaminophen), 2%. 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 exposure.
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).

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