Is benzoic acid soluble in benzene

Benzoic acidAuxiliary materialsPreservatives Benzoic acid is an antimicrobial preservative that is used for food, beverages, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics (E 210). It is effective in the acidic range. The more water-soluble salts, the so-called benzoates, are also used. Benzoic acid can cause intolerance reactions in sensitive people.

synonym: Acidum benzoicumPhEur, Benzoic acid, E 210, Benzolcarboxylic acid


Pure benzoic acid is available as an open product in pharmacies and drug stores. It is found in liquid, semi-solid and solid medicines.

Structure and properties

Benzoic acid (C.7H6O2, Mr = 122.1 g / mol) is available as a white, odorless, crystalline powder or as colorless crystals and is sparingly soluble in water. In contrast, it is more soluble in hot water. It is a simple aromatic carboxylic acid. The carboxy group is attached directly to the benzene ring instead of a hydrogen atom. The pKa of the acid is 4.2.

The salts (and by the way also the esters) are called benzoates, for example → sodium benzoate (E 211), potassium benzoate (E 212) and calcium benzoate (E 213). They are usually more soluble in water. Benzoic acid is a natural substance that is also found in plants and certain berries, e.g. in cranberries. The name is derived from the benzoin resin, which contains a high proportion.

Benzyl alcohol can be oxidized to benzaldehyde and benzoic acid, for example with oxygen and a catalyst:

Oxidation of benzyl alcohol to benzaldehyde and benzoic acid, click to enlarge. Illustration © PharmaWiki


Benzoic acid has antibacterial and antifungal (antifungal) properties. It is protonated at a low pH value in the acidic range (<4.5).

application areas

The areas of application include (selection):

unwanted effects

Intolerance reactions can occur in sensitive people.

see also

Acids, benzyl alcohol, parabens (derivatives of 4-hydroxybenzoic acid), sodium benzoate

  • Del Olmo A., Calzada J., Nuñez M. Benzoic acid and its derivatives as naturally occurring compounds in foods and as additives: Uses, exposure, and controversy. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr, 2017, 57 (14), 3084-3103 Pubmed
  • European Pharmacopoeia PhEur
  • FAO
  • Handbooks and encyclopedias of food technology
  • Safety data sheet
  • WHO
  • Additive Ordinance

Conflicts of Interest: None / Independent. The author has no relationships with the manufacturers and is not involved in the sale of the products mentioned.

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This article was last changed on 9/6/2020.
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