Methoxybenzene, known as Anisole or methyl phenyl ether, is a fascinating chemical compound due to its unique properties and versatile applications. It is a colorless liquid compound with a smell that reminds of anise seeds (ajowan).

Molecular formula: C7H8O
Boiling point: 154 °C
Molar mass: 108.14 g/mol
Density: 995 kg/m³
Classification: Organic compound, Ethers (Aromatic)
Methoxybenzene and anisole

Formula and Structure

The chemical formula of methoxybenzene is C7H8O, indicating that it consists of seven carbon atoms, eight hydrogen atoms, and one oxygen atom. Structurally, methoxybenzene is an aromatic ether derived from benzene by replacing one hydrogen atom with a methoxy (-OCH3) group.

The molecular structure of methoxybenzene is characterized by a benzene ring, a six-membered carbon ring with alternating single and double bonds, and an attached methoxy group.

Common and IUPAC Names

Methoxybenzene is commonly known as Anisole. The IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) name for methoxybenzene is Methoxybenzene.


The synthesis of methoxybenzene can be achieved through different methods.

1. One common method involves the reaction of phenol with dimethyl sulfate in the presence of a base. The reaction proceeds through an electrophilic aromatic substitution mechanism, resulting in the substitution of a hydrogen atom in phenol with a methoxy group.

C6H5OH+(CH3)2SO4  —(Base)→  C6H5OCH3+H2SO4

2. Another method involves the Williamson ether synthesis, where sodium phenoxide (the sodium salt of phenol) reacts with methyl iodide to yield methoxybenzene.

C6H5ONa+CH3I  →  C6H5OCH3+NaI

Uses and Applications

The uses of methoxybenzene may vary based on its purity, stability, and compatibility with other substances in specific applications. Some of such applicable fields are:

Pharmaceutical Industry

Methoxybenzene is used in the pharmaceutical industry as an intermediate in the synthesis of certain pharmaceutical compounds. Its compatibility with various functional groups makes it valuable in the production of specific drugs.

Plasticizers Production

Methoxybenzene is employed in the production of plasticizers, which are additives added to polymers to improve their flexibility, durability, and processing characteristics. It contributes to the modification of polymer properties, enhancing their performance.

Dye Industry

Anisole is utilized in the dye industry as a solvent and as a component in the synthesis of certain dye molecules. Its role in the coloration of materials contributes to the development of various dyes used in textiles and other industries.


Methoxybenzene is used in the synthesis of agrochemicals, including pesticides and herbicides. Its chemical properties make it a suitable building block for creating compounds with pesticidal and herbicidal activities.

Electronics Industry

In the electronics industry, methoxybenzene is sometimes used in the production of certain electronic components. Its properties may contribute to the formulation of materials used to manufacture electronic devices.

Research and Development

Methoxybenzene remains a subject of ongoing research for potential new applications. As the understanding of its chemical properties expands, researchers may discover novel uses for this compound in various fields.

Chemical Derivatives

Methoxybenzene can be a precursor to a lot of compounds. Some of such compounds are:

1. Phenols

Methoxybenzene can be used as a precursor in the synthesis of phenols by replacing the methyl group (-CH3) with a hydrogen atom (-H).

Reaction: Methoxybenzene to Phenol

C6H5OCH3 + HI  →  C6H5OH + CH3I

2. Alkylated Benzene Derivatives

Methoxybenzene can undergo alkylation reactions to introduce alkyl groups onto the benzene ring. This process is valuable in the synthesis of a wide range of aromatic compounds used in the production of dyes, plastics, and pharmaceuticals.

3. Coumarins

Methoxybenzene can be utilized in the synthesis of coumarins, which are important in the pharmaceutical and fragrance industries. Coumarins have anticoagulant properties and are used as flavoring agents and in the synthesis of perfumes.

4. Aryl Amines

Methoxybenzene can be converted into aryl amines by replacing the methoxy group with an amino group (-NH2). Aryl amines are essential building blocks in the synthesis of dyes, pharmaceuticals, and agrochemicals.

5. Phenoxide Compounds

The replacement of the methyl group in methoxybenzene with different chemical groups can yield a variety of phenoxide compounds. These compounds find applications in the production of herbicides, fungicides, and other agrochemicals.

Concepts Berg

What is the primary use of Methoxybenzene?

Methoxybenzene finds application as a solvent in organic chemistry, and it contributes to the fragrance industry and the synthesis of pharmaceuticals, polymers, and agrochemicals.

What is the common name for C6H5OCH3?

The common name for C6H5OCH3 is Anisole.

What is the IUPAC name for Anisole?

The IUPAC name for Anisole is Methoxybenzene.

What is the pKa value of Methoxybenzene?

The pKa of Methoxybenzene is approximately 15.

Is Methoxybenzene soluble in water?

Methoxybenzene is not highly soluble in water due to its hydrophobic properties; it exhibits better solubility in organic solvents.