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One of the most important organic bases, parent substance for many dyes and drugs. Pure aniline is a highly poisonous, oily, colourless liquid with a distinctive odour. First obtained (1826) from indigo, it is now prepared synthetically. It is a weakly basic primary aromatic amine and participates in many reactions with other compounds. It is used to make chemicals used in producing rubber, dyes and intermediates, photographic chemicals, urethane foams, pharmaceuticals, explosives, herbicides, and fungicides as well as to make chemicals used in petroleum refining.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on aniline, visit Britannica.com.