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Xylene or xylol is a mixture of three structural isomers of the aromatic hydrocarbon dimethyl benzene. Xylene is a clear, colorless, sweet-smelling liquid that is very flammable. It is usually refined from crude oil in a process called alkylation. It is also produced as a by-product from coal carbonization derived from coke ovens, extracted from crude benzole from gas, or by dehydrocyclodimerization and methylating of toluene and benzene. It is also manufactured from reformate.

Applications :
  • Xylene is often used as a solvent and in the printing, rubber, and leather industries
  • It is used as a cleaning agent for steel and for silicon wafers and chips
  • It is used as a thinner for paint, and in paints and varnishes. It may be substituted for toluene to thin lacquers where slower drying is desired
  • In histology, xylene is also used for clearing the tissues following dehydration in preparation for paraffin wax infiltration. It is also used after sections have been stained to make them hydrophobic so that a coverslip may be applied with a resin in solvent
  • It is used as a carrier for acrylic based concrete sealers
  • It is used in the laboratory to make baths with dry ice to cool reaction vessels to low temperatures when required, and as a solvent to remove synthetic immersion oil from the microscope objective in light microscopy
  • It is used to make Blu Tack wall adhesive