Benzoic acid is an aromatic monocarboxylic acid. It occurs in the form of colorless leaflets or needles. It reacts with hydrogenating reagents to afford hexahydrobenzoic acid. On decomposition (by heating) in the presence of lime or alkali, it affords benzene and carbon dioxide. It can be synthesized by the cobalt or manganese catalyzed atmospheric oxidation of toluene.
Benzoic acid may be employed as a standard in the quantitative and calorimetric studies. It may be employed as an intermediate in the synthesis of the following:
• wetting agents
• aroma compounds
• benzoyl chloride
It was used to investigate the mechanism of complex addition reaction of hydroxyl radicals with various aromatic compounds.