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Chemistry   >   Aromatic Chemistry

Research History of Benzene

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Aromatic Chemistry

In this course Dr Danny Allwood (Sheffield Hallam University) about a unique type of organic molecule: aromatic compounds. There are countless examples of aromatic compounds used in medicine, biotechnology, dyes, explosives and many other areas where chemicals are used. Therefore, understanding what aromaticity is and how it can affect a chemical reaction is extremely important. We begin by (i) looking at benzene, which for a long time had a known chemical formula (C6H6) but an unknown structure; (ii) focusing on Kekulé’s structure and discussing the problems with this theory; (iii) then moving on to look at how benzene exists in nature, and how this enables its aromaticity; (iv) then using this knowledge, understanding how molecules of benzene react, compared with known reactions of substitution; (v) and finally looking at how the addition of functional groups affects the reactivity of specific positions.

Research History of Benzene

In this mini-lecture we briefly look at the history of how benzene was discovered. For a long time, it was known that benzene’s chemical formula was C6H6 but its structure was still a mystery. Being immensely tiny, at the time it was impossible to see its structure under a microscope. So what structures did leading chemists at the time propose? We take a brief look at these before moving onto Kekulé’s structure, which ended up being the closest to the mark.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Allwood, D. (2022, January 17). Aromatic Chemistry - Research History of Benzene [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Allwood, D. "Aromatic Chemistry – Research History of Benzene." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 17 Jan 2022,


Dr Danny Allwood

Dr Danny Allwood

Sheffield Hallam University