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Aromatic Chemistry

4. Reactions of Benzene

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As mentioned previously, aromatic compounds such as benzene are extremely common functional groups found in many different compounds used for a variety of purposes. Therefore it is crucial to understand how the aromaticity of benzene affects its reactivity. How do these reactions differ with reactions elsewhere in organic chemistry? We look at some substitution reactions which are commonly used in the organic synthesis industry. We try to understand closely the mechanism involved with the addition of new functional groups.


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.


Dr Danny Allwood joined Sheffield Hallam University from the University of Cambridge, where he undertook a PhD (2008-2012) and post-doctoral research (2012-2015) with Professor Steven V. Ley CBE FRS. Prior to this, he attained my undergraduate degree at the University of Warwick (2004-2008). His current research programme is focused on the development of practical synthetic and catalytic organic transformations.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

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

MLA style

Allwood, Danny. "Aromatic Chemistry – Reactions of Benzene." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 17 Jan 2022,

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