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benzyl alcohol

noun, Chemistry
1.
a colorless, faintly aromatic, slightly water-soluble liquid, C 7 H 8 O, used chiefly as a solvent in the manufacture of perfumes and flavorings, and as an intermediate in the synthesis of benzyl esters and ethers.
Also called phenylcarbinol.
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Encyclopedia Article for benzyl-alcohol

benzyl alcohol

an organic compound, of molecular formula C6H5CH2OH, that occurs combined with carboxylic acids (as esters) in balsams and oils of jasmine and other flowers. Several of its natural and synthetic esters have long been used in perfumery; the alcohol itself has become important in the second half of the 20th century as a developer booster in the processing of colour motion-picture film and as a dyeing assistant for filament nylons. Benzyl alcohol is manufactured by the hydrolysis of benzyl chloride in the presence of soda ash.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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