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Is it possible to get benzene from sodium benzoate?

  1. Oct 13, 2013 #1
    I want a small amount of benzene. Obviously it is not easily purchasable, but sodium benzoate is. I have heard one way is to dry distil sodium benzoate and sodium hydroxide, but the though of dealing with molten sodium hydroxide at such high temperatures sounds too dangerous. Is there any other alternative that could perhaps be performed with standard glassware, e.g. some route using electrolysis.
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  3. Oct 13, 2013 #2


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    :surprised. Not easily purchasable?
  4. Oct 13, 2013 #3


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    Sodium benzoate is produced by neutralizing benzoic acid with sodium hydroxide. I don't know how 'cooking' sodium benzoate with more sodium hydroxide is going to produce benzene. I would be generally wary of 'street chemistry' and the things I heard from random people. Benzene is toxic and carcinogenic in even 'small' quantities.
  5. Oct 14, 2013 #4
    Thanks. Yes as far as I'm aware it is not very easy to get benzene unless you can list a source. And was not suggesting I try the above method. I was simply asking if anyone knows of an alternative to it, precisely because it is dangerous.
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