What is Biphenyl?

Biphenyl forms colorless crystals and is an organic compound. The compounds contain the functional group consisting of biphenyl less one hydrogen. It has a comparatively pleasant smell. It is an aromatic hydrocarbon with the molecular formula(C6H15)2. It is a starting material for the production of PCBs. PCBs (PCB polychlorinated biphenyls) were once widely used as dielectric fluids and heat transfer agents. 

It is an intermediate for the production of a host of another compound. The compounds are emulsifiers, optical brighteners, crop protection products, and plastics. Biphenyl cannot be dissolved in water but is soluble in organic solvents. Biphenyl occurs naturally in coal tar and crude oil. It can be isolated from these sources via distillation. It is produced industrially as a byproduct of dealkylation to produce benzene. Biphenyl can be synthesized by treatment of phenylmagnesium bromide with copper(II) salts. This process is carried on in the laboratory.


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Structure of a Biphenyl


Reactions and Uses of Biphenyl


Biphenyl is non-reactive due to its lack of functional groups. The functional groups are the basis of its application. In labs, biphenyl is mainly used as a heat transfer agent as a eutectic mixture with diphenyl ether. This mixture is kept stable at 400 degrees.

Biphenyl undergoes sulfonation which followed by base hydrolysis, produces p-hydroxyphenyl. This is a useful fungicide. These reactions undergo halogenation. Polychlorinated biphenyls are also known as PCB polychlorinated biphenyls were once popular pesticides. 

Lithium biphenyl contains the radical anion. Many solvates of alkali metal salts of biphenyl anion have been characterized by X-Ray crystallography. Lithium biphenyl offers an advantage relative to the related lithium naphthene.


Methyl Biphenyl

It is a colorless nonflammable and highly toxic gas. It is readily liquified. It comprises the family of organic halogen compounds. Used as a fumigant against insects and rodents. Its smaller amount is used in the preparation of other organic compounds. Methyl bromide is manufactured when methanol is reacted with hydrobromic acid. Methyl Biphenyl has a molecular formula of C12H12. The other synonyms used for Methyl Biphenyl are 4-Methylbiphenyl, 4-Phenyltoluene, 644-08-6, 4-Methyl-1, 1-methyl-4-phenyl benzene. It comprises a molecular weight of 168.23g/mol.


Dimethyl Biphenyl

It states its molecular formula of C14H14. The other synonyms found of 2 methyl Biphenyl are 4,4’-Dimethylbiphenyl, 613-33-2, 4,4’-Dimethylniphenyl, 4,4’-Bitolyl, 4,4’Dimethyl-1,1’biphenyl. It has a molecular weight of 182.26g/mol.


Biphenyl Sigma Aldrich

Sigma Aldrich is a life science and biotechnology company, before 2014 it was known as Sigma Aldrich. It was created by the 1975 merger of Sigma chemicals company and Aldrich chemical company. The company has its headquarters in St. Louis and has operations in nearly 40 countries. 

The company is a supplier in the research and fine chemicals market. It provides organic as well as inorganic chemicals, building blocks, reagents, advanced materials, and stable isotopes for chemical synthesis, medical chemistry, and materials science. Biphenyl sigma is Sigma Aldrich’s main biochemical supplier, with offerings that are included. The offerings here included buffers, carbohydrates, antibodies, enzymes, forensic tools, histology and haematology, proteins, amino acids, and their derivatives, peptides, nucleotides.


Isopropyl Biphenyl

It has a molecular formula of C15H16. Its relative synonyms are 2-isopropyl biphenyl, ISOPROPYL BIPHENYL, (1-phenyl-2-propane-2-yl)benzene, 19486-60-3, UNII-W161X7N5AA. It has a molecular weight of 196.29g/mol. It has IUPAC name of 1-phenyl-2-propan-2-ylbenzene.


Distyryl Biphenyl

It has a molecular formula of C28H22. Its many of synonyms include distyrylbiphenyl, ZINC2077606, 1-[(E)-2-phenylethenyl]-2-[2-[(E)-2-phenylethenyl]phenyl]benzene, AKOS004901829, 2,2’-bis(2-phenylvinyl)-1,1’-biphenyl.

It has a molecular weight of 358.5g/mol.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. How is Biphenyl Used in Food and Nutritional Analysis?

Ans: Biphenyl is used almost to prevent fungal infections or fungal growth on fruits. Usually, the fruit category sums up to citrus fruit, after harvesting. Different countries have set up different limits of the use of preservatives, which may carry through the food chain. Biphenyl is characterized through chromatographic analysis of an extract that is prepared by using an organic solvent. It is located under UV radiation and extracted with methanol. Here, if the fluorescent indicator GF254 is used to impregnate silica gel, biphenyl can be detected by densitometry.


To isolate the preservatives, steam distillation of biphenyl and 2-hydroxyphenyl is used. Simultaneous analysis of biphenyl, 2-hydroxyphenyl in an organic extract from homogenized citrus fruits has been achieved with a column packed with FFAP as stationary phase.

2. What is Biphenyl Sigma Aldrich?

Ans. Sigma Aldrich is a life science and biotechnology company. This company deals in biphenyl products. It was founded in August 1975 and has its headquarters in Munich, Germany. Matthias Heinzel, the life science CEO is one of the key people working. It mainly deals in life science technologies and speciality chemicals. It has a list of work history which is as follows:

  1. 1935 - Midwest consultants founded in St Louis by the Fischer brothers.

  2. 1946 - Sigma was later formed from Midwest consultants and earlier it manufactured just adenosine triphosphate. To manufacture ATP, Sigma was the first-ever company

  3. 1972 - Sigma’s IPO took the screens upfront.

  4. 1951 - Aldrich founded in Milwaukee by Alfred Badar. At that particular time, it just manufactured 1-methyl-3-nitro-1-nitrosoguanidine.

  5. 1966 - Aldrich’s IPO took the screens upfront.

  6. 1972 - The subsidiary Aldrich-Boranes launched to manufacture hydroboration products.

  7. 1975 - The merger of Sigma chemicals and Aldrich chemical created Sigma-Aldrich. They earned good revenue in the first year of sales itself. 

  8. 1999 - Sigma-Aldrich reached a greater height in revenue again.

  9. 2005 - It announced membership in the RNAi Consortium

  10. 2014 - Merck KGaA announced to purchase of Sigma Aldrich for $17 Billion.

  11. November 3, 2014 - Sigma-Aldrich took a responsible step and filed a proxy statement with the US securities and exchange commissions.

Some of its acquisitions include major chemicals, Pathfinder, Bio Yeda, Bristol Organics, Fluka Chemie AG, Supelco, LabKemi AB, Research biochemicals International, Genosys, First Medical Inc, Ultrafine, ECOTEC, JRH Biosciences, Proligo group, Advanced separation technologies, announced an alliance with Sangamo biosciences to develop zinc finger-based laboratory research reagents, Chemnavigator, Cerilliant Corporation, Resource technology corp, Research Organics Inc, Cell Marque.


In its current leadership, Matthias Heinzel became the CEO of the Life Science business of Merck KGaA, Germany, Darmstadt in April 2021 following Udit Batra’s departure from the company.