What will be the reaction for producing benzene from toluene?

My attempt:

Toluene→Benzoic acid→Sodium benzoate→Benzene(decarboxylation) ...

Is there any other ways, like a direct reaction?


1 Answer 1


There is also a disproportionation reaction that converts toluene to a mixture of benzene and xylene (Bawa et al), also, see wikipedia. It has commercial applications (because the benzene/xylene mixture can often be sold for more than toluene) and can be licensed. However, it is more of an industrial process than one you would use in the lab, as it is really driven by an exothermic dealkylation in vapor phase over zeolite catalyst.

Interestingly, as zeolites act as a Lewis acid, this is strangely similar to Friedel-Crafts alkylation, which uses Lewis acid catalysis in liquid phase. The paper by Bawa et al discusses experiments in which the trans alkylation was done with Frieden-Crafts catalysts in liquid phase.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ And how does that work? (a good answer should explain, not just provide links to, the material). We really don't like link-only answers. $\endgroup$
    – matt_black
    Feb 1, 2018 at 23:02

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