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Reduction of Nitro Compounds to Amines

Reduction of Nitro Compounds to Amines: Industrial Application

Production of aniline

Aniline is an important raw material in the chemical industry. It serves as the starting material in the production of azo dyes , polyurethanes and sulfonamides. In 1998, the yearly production of aniline was one million tons worldwide.

Movie: Production of aniline black

Movie: Basicity of aniline

In the past, a process used by BASF (Badische Anilin und Sodafabrik) involved the reduction of nitrobenzene with iron in hydrochloric acid. This process has the advantage that the generated iron(II,III) oxide can be used as pigment.


Today, aniline usage has far surpassed the sale of pigments. Modern production facilities, therefore, use catalytic hydrogenation with either Cu-, Cr-, Mn-, or Fe-catalysts.

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