xylene

[zahy-leen]
noun Chemistry.
any of three oily, colorless, water-insoluble, flammable, toxic, isomeric liquids, C 8 H 10 , of the benzene series, obtained mostly from coal tar: used chiefly in the manufacture of dyes.
Also, xylol [zahy-lawl, -lol] .
Also called dimethylbenzene.


Origin:
1850–55; < Greek xýl(on) wood + -ene

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World English Dictionary
xylene (ˈzaɪliːn)
 
n
Also called: xylol an aromatic hydrocarbon existing in three isomeric forms, all three being colourless flammable volatile liquids used as solvents and in the manufacture of synthetic resins, dyes, and insecticides; dimethylbenzene. Formula: C6H4(CH3)2

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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
xylene (zī-lēn', zī'lēn') also xylol   (zī-lēn', zī'lēn')  Pronunciation Key 
  1. A flammable hydrocarbon obtained from wood and coal tar. Xylene consists of a benzene ring with two methyl (CH3) groups attached, and occurs in three isomeric forms. It is used as a solvent, in jet fuel, and in the manufacture of dyes, fibers, perfumes, and films. Chemical formula: C8H10.

  2. A mixture of xylene isomers used as a solvent in making lacquers and rubber cement and as an aviation fuel.


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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

xylene

any of three isomeric dimethylbenzenes [which have the same chemical formula, C6H4(CH3)2, but different molecular structure], used as solvents, as components of aviation fuel, and as raw materials for the manufacture of dyes, fibres, and films. The three isomers, designated ortho (o), meta (m), and para (p), differ structurally only in the location of the methyl groups. All three are obtained from coal-tar distillate and petroleum as a mixture containing 50-60 percent by volume of m-xylene and 20-25 percent of each of the other isomers. Fractional distillation of the mixture removes the meta and para isomers, which have very similar boiling points, from the less volatile ortho isomer. Upon cooling the mixture of meta and para isomers, much of the p-xylene crystallizes in nearly pure form. The meta isomer, the principal component of the remaining liquid, then can be purified by taking advantage of its solubility in a mixture of hydrofluoric acid and boron trifluoride. Meta- and para-xylene undergo nitration and reduction to give xylidines, used in making dyes. The meta isomer also is converted to trinitro-t-butyl-m-xylene, or xylene musk, a component of perfumes. Oxidation of the xylenes gives monocarboxylic acids (toluic acids), and then dicarboxylic acids (phthalic acids).

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Example sentences
Why would someone add xylene, toluene and other petrochemical products to a fracking mix.
Xylene can be detected in the end-exhaled air, venous blood, and urine of exposed individuals.
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