Taken from Wikipedia
Benzyl alcohol is an organic compound with the formula C6H5CH2OH. The benzyl group is commonly abbreviated "Bn", thus BnOH, for benzyl alcohol. Benzyl alcohol is a colorless liquid with a mild pleasant aromatic odor. It is a natural constituent of a variety of essential oils including jasmine, hyacinth (flower), and ylang-ylang. Benzyl alcohol is also a useful solvent due to its polarity, low toxicity, and low vapor pressure.
Benzyl alcohol is partially soluble in water (4 g/100 mL) and completely miscible in alcohols and diethyl ether. It is prepared by the hydrolysis of benzyl chloride using sodium hydroxide:
- C6H5CH2Cl + sodium hydroxide (NaOH) → C6H5CH2OH + sodium chloride (NaCl)
It can also be prepared via a Grignard reaction by reacting phenylmagnesium bromide (C6H5MgBr) with formaldehyde, followed by acidification. Like most alcohols, it reacts with carboxylic acids to form esters.
- Merck Index, 11th Edition, 1138.