Xylene / Furnace Thinner

Cas No: 1330-20-7          
EINESC No: 215-535-7 
Molecular weight: 106,16 g/mol  

Chemical Formula: C8H10
Chemical Structure:

Physical Properties

General Properties: colorless liquid

Odor: strong, sweet

Intensity: 0.864 g/mL (20 ° C)

Boiling point: 138,5  °C

Melting point: -47,4°C

Flash point: 30 °C

Vapor pressure: 650-944 Pa (20 ° C)

Refraction index: 1.497 nD (20 ° C)

Solubility : indissoluble


General Properties

Xylene, or commonly known as furnace thinner, is a chemical that is formed by one benzene cycle and two methyl groups. They take on different names and properties, depending on methyl groupds that they are binded.

When methyl groups are binded side by side, it is called O-xylene, when there is a carbon atom in between, it is called M-xylene, when they are binded oppositely, it is called p-xylene. All are shown in above. P-xylene is the most valuable due as it can be oxidized to traphthalic acid.

All types are colorless and extremely flammable.


Xylene, like toluene, is usually produced from raw oil or coal.


Xylene is a frequently used chemical in industry. It is commonly used in inks, glues, dyes and varnishes as it is a very good solvent. It is also used to clean plunged oil-wells. It contain a certain amount of ethylbenzene.

P-xylene is very suitable for phthalates such as PET. Therefore, its market value is very high.

Safety Measures and Toxic Values

Xylene is similar to toluene in terms of toxicity. It possesses intermediate acute toxicity and it may cause nausea, dizziness and head ache. Chronic exposure may lead to depression, sleep disorders or damages to neural system. It is also extremely irritant for eyes and skin. Proper masks and gloves must be equipped when handling xylene.

It is also extremely flammable. Therefore, it must be stored in well-aired, cool environments. It must be stored in tightly closed containers and it must be kept away from all sources of fire.