Aniline is a fundamental raw material in the chemical industry. It is used in the manufacture of agricultural chemicals, such as herbicides, fungicides and insecticides, but also synthetic paints, explosives and the famous Methylene Diphenyl Diisocyanate (MDI).
MDI is the base that supports the production of hard polyurethane foam, which is used mainly in the insulation of buildings and refrigeration systems and is responsible for the comfort of our homes. Since the 1980s, MDI has been the driving force behind the growth in aniline production.
Aniline, also known as aminobenzene or phenylamine, is a substance in the family of amines - compounds important for the manufacture of dyes. Having the molecular formula C6H5NH2, it was obtained for the first time, in 1826, from the dry distillation of indigo vegetable dye, at the hands of the German chemist Otto Unverdorben.
Under normal conditions regarding temperature and pressure, it is a colourless, oily liquid with a pleasant smell. It is used less as a raw material for the production of dyes, and is widely used in the production of rubbers and insecticides. At Bondalti, aniline - obtained by hydrogenation of nitrobenzene and in the presence of a catalyst - is supplied in bulk or packaged in canisters.