Benzaldehyde: Properties and Uses

Benzaldehyde is an organic chemical compound. Its systematic IUPAC name is benzenecarbaldehyde. Besides, it is sometimes called benzenecarboxaldehyde, phenylmethanal, or benzoic aldehyde. The chemical formula of benzaldehyde is C7H6O. Its CAS number is 100-52-7.

The compound was first isolated in 1803 by a French pharmacist Martrès. He extracted the substance from bitter almonds. Later, in 1830s, a German chemist Justus von Liebig and his colleague Friedrich Wöhler investigated the compound in study that in its turn laid the basis for the organic chemistry structural theory.

General Properties

Benzaldehyde structure is described as a benzene ring with a formyl substituent that makes it the simplest aromatic aldehyde. As for the appearance, this organic is a clear colorless liquid with an almond-like smell. The chemical is very refractive. Its refractive index is 1.5456. The other benzaldehyde properties are as follows:

  • molar mass: 106.12 g·mol−1,
  • density: 1.044 g/mL,
  • boiling point: 178.1 °C,
  • flash point: 63 °C.

The substance is miscible with fixed & volatile oils, ether, and alcohol. Its solubility in water is 3 g/L.

The compound is considered stable under recommended storage conditions. It should be kept in tightly sealed container in cool dry place, far from light and heat. It is strongly recommended to store the chemical under nitrogen, away from the incompatible substances, like strong acids, reducing agents, etc.


Benzaldehyde has many uses. It is actually believed to be one of the most industrially useful aldehydes. The chemical is primarily applied as a food additive to give products and beverages an almond scent. Moreover, it is often used in the manufacture of cosmetic personal care products.

Industrially, the substance mainly serves as a precursor to the wide range of other organic compounds, from plastic additives to pharmaceuticals. It is also a component of some acridine and aniline dyes, such as malachite green.

Beekeepers usually apply the chemical as a bee repellent. They put benzaldehyde solution on a fume board near the honeycombs to make bees to move away.

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