A Publication
of Reliable Methods
for the Preparation
of Organic Compounds
Annual Volume
Org. Synth. 1931, 11, 94
DOI: 10.15227/orgsyn.011.0094
[Benzophenone, thio-]
Submitted by H. Staudinger and H. Freudenberger.
Checked by Roger Adams and E. H. Woodruff.
1. Procedure
An alcoholic solution of sodium hydrosulfide is prepared by dissolving 4.6 g. (0.2 gram atom) of sodium in 150 cc. of absolute alcohol and saturating the solution with dry hydrogen sulfide.
A 3-l. three-necked flask is equipped with a reflux condenser, a mechanical stirrer, a dropping funnel, and a tube for introducing dry carbon dioxide. Twenty-five grams (0.11 mole) of benzophenone dichloride (Note 1) is put into the flask, the air in the flask is displaced by a stream of carbon dioxide, and the sodium hydrosulfide solution is added slowly (Note 2). A vigorous reaction, which must be controlled by cooling, takes place, and the reaction mixture becomes deep blue in color.
After the reaction mixture has stood for one-half hour, water is added and the solution is extracted with ether. The ether solution is dried over calcium chloride and the ether is distilled. The residue is distilled under reduced pressure in an atmosphere of carbon dioxide (Note 3). Thiobenzophenone boils at 174°/14 mm.; it distils as a blue oil which, if pure and dry, forms beautiful blue crystals on cooling. The yield of crude product is 10–12.5 g. (50–63 per cent of the theoretical amount) (Note 4).
This product is approximately 75 per cent pure and is purified further by recrystallization from petroleum ether (b.p. 70–90°). The yield of purified product melting at 53–54° is 8.4–9.9 g. (42–50 per cent of the theoretical amount).
For preservation, the thiobenzophenone is sealed in a glass tube with dry carbon dioxide and placed in the dark.
2. Notes
1. The benzophenone dichloride was prepared by heating equivalent molecular quantities of benzophenone and phosphorus pentachloride to 145–150° for two hours and then fractionating the mixture under reduced pressure. The product used for this preparation boiled at 201–202°/35 mm.
2. It is necessary to have an excess of the chloride present at all times in order to prevent the formation of dibenzohydryldisulfide, due to reduction of the thioketone with the hydrosulfide. If the chloride is added to the sodium hydrosulfide solution, a 70 per cent yield of the pure disulfide is obtained and no thioketone is formed.
3. All the operations in the purification should be done very quickly and out of contact with the air as much as possible.
4. Larger runs using 100 g. of benzophenone dichloride gave the same percentage yields of product.
3. Discussion
Thiobenzophenone has been prepared by the action of thiophosgene on benzene in the presence of aluminum chloride;1 by the action of phosphorus pentasulfide2 or ethyl thioacetoacetate3 on benzophenone; and by treating benzophenone dichloride with alcoholic potassium sulfide,4 alcoholic sodium hydrosulfide,5 or thioacetic acid.6
This preparation is referenced from:

References and Notes
  1. Bergreen, Ber. 21, 341 (1888).
  2. Gattermann, ibid. 28, 2877 (1895).
  3. Mitra, J. Indian Chem. Soc. 9, 637 (1932) [C. A. 27, 3922 (1933)].
  4. Gattermann and Schulze, Ber. 29, 2944 (1896).
  5. Staudinger and Freudenberger, ibid. 61, 1577 (1928).
  6. Schönberg, Schütz, and Nickel, ibid. 61, 1378 (1928).

Chemical Abstracts Nomenclature (Collective Index Number);
(Registry Number)

petroleum ether


alcohol (64-17-5)

calcium chloride (10043-52-4)

Benzene (71-43-2)

ether (60-29-7)

phosphorus pentachloride (10026-13-8)

hydrogen sulfide (7783-06-4)

carbon dioxide (124-38-9)

aluminum chloride (3495-54-3)

Benzophenone (119-61-9)

sodium (13966-32-0)

benzophenone dichloride

Thiophosgene (463-71-8)

potassium sulfide (1312-73-8)

sodium hydrosulfide

Benzophenone, thio- (1450-31-3)

phosphorus pentasulfide (1314-80-3)

ethyl thioacetoacetate

thioacetic acid (507-09-5)