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a heterocyclic compound. Thiophene is a colorless liquid with an odor similar to that of benzene. Melting point, –38.3°C, boiling point, 84.1°C. It is sparingly soluble in water but freely soluble in organic solvents.
Thiophene is contained in the benzene fraction of coal tar (from which it is extracted), as well as in the semicoking products of Volga shale. It may be produced synthetically by pyrolysis of a mixture containing the sodium salt of succinic acid and phosphorus trisulfide; it is also obtained from butane and sulfur and, using a method developed by Iu. K. Iur’ev, from furan. Thiophene is a typical aromatic compound: it can be readily halogenated, sulfurized, and alkylated. Certain thiophene derivatives are used as biologically active substances (modified penicillins; anthelmintics) and complexones (thienyltrifluoroacetone).