The arenes are based on benzene rings. The simplest of them is benzene itself, C6H6. The next simplest is methylbenzene (old name: toluene) which has one of the hydrogen atoms attached to the ring replaced by a methyl group - C6H5CH3.

Benzene is a planar molecule consisting of 6 carbon atoms in a ring, each with 1 hydrogen attached. (Do not confuse with hexane, which has 2 hydrogens attached to each carbon not 1.)

What is special about this molecule is the ring of delocalised electrons which make benzene particularly stable.

It is often drawn like this, the ring represents the delocalised electrons.



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