Aniline: Structure, Formula & Uses

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  • 0:00 Structure and Formula…
  • 1:50 Uses of Aniline
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Nissa Garcia

Nissa has a masters degree in chemistry and has taught high school science and college level chemistry.

Did you know that a chemical compound called aniline is necessary for the indigo color of our jeans? It is used in several other areas as well. In this lesson, we will learn all about the structure, formula, and uses of aniline.

Structure and Formula of Aniline

Blue jeans - have you ever wondered about the dye used to give them their color? One of the chemicals that is used to make the indigo dye used for our jeans is a substance called aniline.

Aniline is a flammable liquid chemical substance that has a pungent unpleasant odor and is slightly soluble in water. It can be colorless to brown, and it is oily to the touch. Aniline, also known as aminobenzene or phenylamine, has a chemical formula of C6H7N or C6H5NH2 and has 6 carbon (C) atoms, 7 hydrogen (H) atoms, and 1 nitrogen (N) atom. Because carbon is present in its chemical formula, aniline is classified as an organic compound.

The chemical structure of aniline is shown in the following illustration.

Here, the phenyl group (boxed in blue) is attached to the amino group (boxed in red). The phenyl group is a cyclic hexagon ring with alternating double bonds (C6H5)-, and the amino group Contains the nitrogen with two hydrogen atoms attached to it. Because aniline has a phenyl group in its chemical structure, we can say that it is aromatic. The amino group present in the structure also means that aniline is also an amine, so we can say that aniline is an aromatic amine.

The chemical structure of amine can be drawn in multiple ways. Structure (1) shows all the carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen atoms present in the structure. In structure (2), the carbon and hydrogen atoms are not shown, but are present at the edges of the hexagon with the double bonds. Structure (3), on the other hand, shows that the alternating double bonds in the ring can be drawn in a circle.

Uses of Aniline

Aniline has various uses - it is used to prepare other chemical substances to make polymers, and as we mentioned earlier, it is used in the dye industry as well. In this section, we will learn all about the uses of aniline.

Preparation of Isocyanates

Aniline is used to make chemical substances called isocyanates. Why are isocyanates important? Isocyanates are needed in the production of polyurethane. Polyurethane is used in making plastic, building thermal foam insulation for buildings and for refrigerators, and making spandex fibers for athletic clothing.

Rubber Industry

We use rubber for so many things - to make tire for our cars, to balls used for sports, and a lot of latex products like gloves and balloons. In order to make rubber, we need aniline to produce the necessary chemical compounds used to make rubber. Aniline is needed to make phenylenediamine and diphenylamine, which are additives to rubber.

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