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Benzyl Benzoate

Benzoic acid benzyl ester; benzylbenzenecarboxylate

Benzyl benzoate is a clear, colorless, oily liquid with a slightly aromatic odor. It produces a sharp, burning sensation on the tongue. At temperatures below 178C it exists as clear, colorless crystals.

Nonproprietary Names

  • BP: Benzyl Benzoate
  • JP: Benzyl Benzoate
  • PhEur: Benzyl Benzoate
  • USP: Benzyl Benzoate
Benzoic acid benzyl ester; benzylbenzenecarboxylate; benzylis benzoas; benzyl phenylformate; phenylmethyl benzoate.
Chemical Name and CAS Registry Number

Benzoic acid phenylmethyl ester [120-51-4]
Empirical Formula and Molecular Weight
C14H12O2 212.24

Functional Category
Plasticizer; solubilizing agent; solvent; therapeutic agent.

Applications in Pharmaceutical Formulation or Technology

Benzyl benzoate is used as a solubilizing agent and nonaqueous solvent in intramuscular injections at concentrations of 0.01–46.0% v/v, and as a solvent and plasticizer for cellulose and nitrocellulose. It is also used in the preparation of spray-dried powders using nanocapsules.

However, the most widespread pharmaceutical use of benzyl benzoate is as a topical therapeutic agent in the treatment of scabies. Benzyl benzoate is also used therapeutically as a parasiticide in veterinary medicine. Other applications of benzyl benzoate include its use as a pediculicide, and as a solvent and fixative for flavors and perfumes in cosmetics and food products.

Method of Manufacture

Benzyl benzoate is a constituent of Peru balsam and occurs naturally in certain plant species. Commercially, benzyl benzoate is produced synthetically by the dry esterification of sodium benzoate and benzoyl chloride in the presence of triethylamine or by the reaction of sodium benzylate with benzaldehyde.

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