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Benzyl Chloride vs. Benzoyl Chloride: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Published on January 3, 2024
Benzyl Chloride is a chlorinated aromatic hydrocarbon used in organic synthesis, while Benzoyl Chloride is an acyl chloride used as a reagent in chemistry.
Benzyl Chloride vs. Benzoyl Chloride

Key Differences

Benzyl Chloride, a clear, colorless liquid with a harsh odor, is known for its role as an intermediate in the manufacture of various chemicals. Benzoyl Chloride, also a clear, colorless liquid but with a pungent odor, is used primarily as a reagent in organic synthesis, particularly in the introduction of benzoyl groups.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 03, 2024
In the production of pharmaceuticals and dyes, Benzyl Chloride serves as a precursor to benzyl esters and ethers. Benzoyl Chloride, on the other hand, is used in the synthesis of peroxides and as a catalyst in polymerization processes.
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Benzyl Chloride reacts with water to form benzyl alcohol, showcasing its reactivity towards nucleophiles. Benzoyl Chloride reacts vigorously with water, producing hydrochloric acid and benzoyl acid, highlighting its more reactive nature.
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In terms of safety, Benzyl Chloride is considered a lachrymator and can be harmful if inhaled or contacted with skin. Benzoyl Chloride is even more hazardous, known for its strong irritant properties, requiring careful handling.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 03, 2024
Environmental impacts of Benzyl Chloride include its potential as a pollutant and its biodegradability, whereas Benzoyl Chloride, due to its reactivity, poses risks in terms of chemical spills and its breakdown products.
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Comparison Chart

Chemical Structure

Chlorinated aromatic hydrocarbon
Acyl chloride
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Primary Use

Intermediate in chemical synthesis
Reagent in organic synthesis
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Reactivity with Water

Forms benzyl alcohol
Produces hydrochloric acid and benzoyl acid
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Safety Concerns

Lachrymator, harmful if inhaled/contacted
Strong irritant, requires careful handling
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Environmental Impact

Potential pollutant, biodegradability concerns
Risk in spills, reactive breakdown products
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Benzyl Chloride and Benzoyl Chloride Definitions

Benzyl Chloride

Benzyl Chloride is used in the manufacture of dyes and pharmaceuticals.
Certain antihistamines are synthesized using Benzyl Chloride.
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Benzoyl Chloride

It is known for its strong irritant properties and pungent odor.
Handling Benzoyl Chloride requires protective equipment due to its irritancy.
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Benzyl Chloride

Benzyl Chloride can be harmful, necessitating safe handling practices.
Safety equipment is essential when handling Benzyl Chloride.
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Benzoyl Chloride

Benzoyl Chloride reacts vigorously with water to produce hydrochloric acid.
When mixed with water, Benzoyl Chloride releases hydrochloric acid.
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Benzyl Chloride

Benzyl Chloride is a versatile intermediate used in organic synthesis.
Benzyl Chloride is essential in synthesizing benzyl esters.
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Benzoyl Chloride

Benzoyl Chloride is a reagent used in introducing benzoyl groups in organic chemistry.
Benzoylation reactions often utilize Benzoyl Chloride.
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Benzyl Chloride

It's a chlorinated compound derived from toluene.
Benzyl Chloride production involves the chlorination of toluene.
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Benzoyl Chloride

It's used in the synthesis of peroxides and as a polymerization catalyst.
Benzoyl peroxide is prepared from Benzoyl Chloride.
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Benzyl Chloride

It acts as a precursor to benzyl compounds in chemical reactions.
Benzyl Chloride is converted into benzyl alcohol in some processes.
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Benzoyl Chloride

Benzoyl Chloride is used in the production of certain pharmaceuticals.
Some acne medications contain compounds derived from Benzoyl Chloride.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

What is Benzoyl Chloride?

An acyl chloride serving as a reagent in organic chemistry.
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Can Benzyl Chloride be used in pharmaceutical synthesis?

Yes, it's used in synthesizing certain drugs.
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Is Benzyl Chloride reactive with water?

Yes, it forms benzyl alcohol upon reaction with water.
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What environmental risks does Benzoyl Chloride pose?

Chemical spills and reactive breakdown products are concerns.
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What are the main uses of Benzyl Chloride?

In the manufacture of dyes, pharmaceuticals, and other benzyl compounds.
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What is Benzyl Chloride?

A chlorinated aromatic hydrocarbon used in organic synthesis.
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How is Benzoyl Chloride primarily used?

As a reagent for introducing benzoyl groups and in peroxide synthesis.
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Is Benzyl Chloride considered hazardous?

Yes, due to its lachrymatory and harmful effects.
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How is Benzyl Chloride produced?

Typically through the chlorination of toluene.
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Are there environmental concerns with Benzyl Chloride?

Yes, it can be a pollutant and has biodegradability issues.
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What happens when Benzoyl Chloride reacts with water?

It produces hydrochloric acid and benzoyl acid.
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What safety precautions are needed for Benzoyl Chloride?

Protective gear due to its strong irritancy and reactivity.
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What is the odor of Benzoyl Chloride?

It has a pungent, strong odor.
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How is Benzoyl Chloride used in polymerization?

As a catalyst in certain polymerization processes.
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What type of compound is Benzyl Chloride?

A chlorinated hydrocarbon derivative.
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What is a common application of Benzoyl Chloride in medicine?

In the production of acne medication.
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What makes Benzoyl Chloride a strong irritant?

Its chemical structure and reactivity.
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What protective equipment is required for Benzyl Chloride?

Gloves, goggles, and proper ventilation.
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Can Benzyl Chloride be used in dye manufacturing?

Yes, it's a precursor in some dye synthesis.
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Is Benzoyl Chloride more reactive than Benzyl Chloride?

Yes, particularly with water.
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Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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