Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|Molecular mass||68.07 g/mol|
|Melting point||-85.6 °C|
|Boiling point||31.4 °C|
Furan, also known as furane and furfuran, is an aromatic heterocyclic organic compound, produced when wood, especially pine-wood, is distilled. Furan is a clear, colorless, very volatile and highly flammable liquid with a boiling point close to room temperature. It is toxic and may be carcinogenic. Catalytic hydrogenation (see redox) of furan with a palladium catalyst gives tetrahydrofuran.
Furan is aromatic because one of the lone pairs of electrons on the oxygen atom is delocalized into the ring, creating a 4n+2 aromatic system (see Hückel's rule) similar to benzene. This aromatic system forms two rings of electrons above and below the flat structure with no discrete double bonds. The other lone pair of electrons of the oxygen atom extends in the plane of the flat ring system. Due to its aromaticity, furan behaves not as a typical heterocyclic ether like tetrahydrofuran. It is considerably more reactive than benzene in electrophilic substitution reactions.
- Tetrahydrofuran (THF), the fully hydrogenated analog of furan and a common solvent.
- Pyrrole, the nitrogen analog of furan.
- Thiophene, the sulfur analog of furan.
- Benzofuran, furan with a fused benzene ring.
- Dibenzofuran, a compound class similar to dibenzodioxins.
- Simple aromatic rings
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