Wednesday, May 09, 2012


  • Catechol, also known as pyrocatechol or 1,2-dihydroxybenzene, is an organic compound with the molecular formula C6H4(OH)2. 
  • It is the ortho isomer of the three isomeric benzenediols. This colorless compound occurs naturally in trace amounts. About 20 million kg are produced annually, mainly as a precursor to pesticides, flavors, and fragrances.
  • Catechol occurs as feathery white crystals that are very rapidly soluble in water.
  • Catechol is produced industrially by the hydroxylation of phenol using hydrogen peroxide.
  • Previously, catechol has been produced by hydrolysis of 2-substituted phenols, especially 2-chlorophenol, with hot aqueous solutions containing alkali metal hydroxides. Its methyl ether derivative, guaiacol, converts to catechol via hydrolysis of the CH3-O bond as promoted by hydriodic acid.

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