What is Xylene and it Uses?


A volatile organic hydrocarbon is the sickly sweet-smelling chemical xylene. We can discover xylene and its compounds in many sectors, in medicine, in dentistry, and even in family products. People should look after xylene because of its inhalation and irritating hazards.

Structure of Xylenes



It is a liquid and vapour that is colourless. In addition, it is not water-soluble and will glide when coupled on the bottom of denser water. At room temperature, it is flammable.

Moreover, it was appointed after the Greek term for wood, xylong because it was discovered in the presence of coarse wood. C8H10 or more specifically (C6H4)(CH3)2 is its the chemical formula. Dimethyl benzene, methyl toluene, and xylol are other synonyms for it.

It comprises of two clusters of methyl connected to a six-carbon chain. There are three major isomers that we know as ortho-xylene, meta-xylene, and paraxylene. However, there is fourth isomer ethylbenzene.

Meta-xylene is a major element of xylene of commercial grade. In the polymer sector, paraxylene has a range of purposes.

It is heavier than water. It’s a fluid that gives off its gas. Also, it’s nauseatingly delicious smell acts as a clue to its toxic origin.

We can identify its smell as small as one portion per million (PPM) in water levels! It can respond with strong acids and oxidizers.

Uses of Xylene

It is one of the main chemicals that the U.S. generates and generally they obtain it from crude oil. We use it in many ways, both in its pure state and in compounds. Commonly we use it in various sectors as well as in dental and medical settings.

It is used for processing and staining tissues in histology. It is then possible to use these tissues in microscopy. This helps engineers in histopathology who look at tissues to determine disease existence.

Tissue must be integrated with a solvent (such as paraffin) in tissue preparation in order to promote it and enable it to be sliced without destroying the tissue. 

Fixed tissue is then dehydrated, by escalating alcohol levels, separating water from the tissue. However, alcohol is not miscible with paraffin (which is miscible may well be mixed with another ingredient).

Some Other Uses of Xylene

As it occurs with paraffin, it is extremely miscible. For tissue handling, the cause xylene operates so well is that it keeps tissues clear so that paraffin can fully envelop the tissue.

Moreover, it may extract any residual wax from specimens when preparation specimens for microscopy. In this situation, we use it as a wiping officer. This enables screen staining to make it easier to view tissue characteristics under a microscope.

Although tissue handling suggests solutions to it. But we still regard it as the finest chemicals for tissue handling and staining reasons.

One of its main applications is as a lubricant. Also, we use it in motor oil or brake fluid. Industries use its strong solvent characteristics in the production of graphics, gum, and leather.

It is an element of engine petroleum lubricants, colour and hair thinners, polishes, waxes, antifreeze, sealants, adhesives, petrol, and tobacco. Some glues have xylene in it. As well as we use it as a solvent too.

Solved Questions for You

Q-1. Which oxidizing agent is used for transformation to phthalic acid of xylene isomers?

  1. Zinc oxide
  2. Iron
  3. Nitric oxide
  4. Vanadium

Answer: The correct answer is option C.

Q-2. Which of the previous large-scale solvents is inappropriate?

  1. Heptane
  2. Diethyl ether
  3. Xylene
  4. Dimethoxyethane

Answer: The correct answer is option B.

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