|Animated Clipping of Phenols|
|3D Pictures of Different Types of Phenols|
Phenol — also known as carbolic acid — is an aromatic organic compound with the formula C6H5OH. It is a white crystalline solid that is volatile. The molecule consists of a phenyl group (-C6H5) bonded to a hydroxyl group (-OH). It is mildly acidic, but requires careful handling due to its propensity to cause burns.
Through phenols you understand combinations which contain one or more hydroxyl groups directly connected to the benzoic nucleus. Phenols can be similar to tertiary alcohols through the fact that they also contain the hydroxyl group connected to a carbon atom (which is not bound to a hydrogen atom).
After the number of hydroxyl groups in the molecule, you can distinguish:
- phenols with a single hydroxyl group, meaning mono hydroxyl phenols
- phenols with more than one hydroxyl groups in the molecule, meaning poly hydroxyl phenols
Mono hydroxyl phenols have not isomers because they are produced by de mono substitution of the benzoic nucleus. Containing more than one hydroxyl groups bound in different positions to the aromatic nucleus, the poly hydroxyl phenols exist under the form of isomers. The denomination of phenols is based on the fact that they are considered the results of the substitution of the aromatic hydrocarbons. Properly said, C6H5-OH is called hydroxybenzene.
|Phenols 3D Structures|
Structure and nomenclature
Hydroxybenzene, C6H5-OH, is normally called phenol and is the simplest mono hydroxyl phenol. His homologue is hydroxytoluene, (CH3)C6H4OH, at which you can distinguish 3 isomers, after the relative position of the substitutes at the aromatic nucleus: o-cresol, m-cresol and p-cresol.
|Phenols are, normally, solid substances (at the usual temperature), with a pervading and unpleasant smell. Phenols are a little soluble in water,|
Phenols are, normally, solid substances (at the usual temperature), with a pervading and unpleasant smell. Phenols are a little soluble in water, but completely soluble in organic solvents.
1. Alkaline melting method
Ar-OH + H2SO4 ----> Ar-SO3H (sulfonic acid)-----> Ar-SO3Na + H2O ------> Na2SO3 + Ar-OH (phenol)
2. The cumin procedure
Benzene + CH2=CH-CH3----> Cumin + O2 ------------> Cumin hydro peroxide -------> Ar-OH + acetone
|Preparation of Phenols|
1. The reaction with metals and bases
Ar-OH + Na ----->Ar-ONa(sodium phenoxide) + H2O
Ar-OH + NaOH-------> Ar-ONa + H2O
Ar-ONa + R-X ----> Ar-OR (mix ether) + NaX
2. Substitutions reactions (at the nucleus)(-OH is a first grade substitute)
Ar-OH + 3H2 ------>Ar-OFeCl2 + HCl
4. The identification of phenols (FeCl3)
Ar-OH + FeCl3------>Ar-OFeCl2 + HCl
- Phenol + FeCl3 violet
- Cresol + FeCl3 blue
- Hydro quinine + FeCl3 blue
- Alfa-naphthol +FeCl3 green
- Beta-naphthol + FeCl3 green
|Reaction of Phenols|
5. Phenols oxidation - at the oxidation, the phenols react different than the alcohols.
Resonance structures of phenol
Notice that three of the four contributing structures possess a positive charge on the oxygen atom of the molecule. Thus, the true hybrid structure must possess a partial positive charge. Because oxygen is an electronegative element, the electrons in the oxygen-hydrogen bond orbital are attracted to the oxygen atom, resulting in a partially positive hydrogen.
Loss of a hydrogen ion to a base creates a phenoxide ion that is resonance stabilized.Notice that upon removal of the hydroxy hydrogen by a base, the phenoxide anion results. This anion is resonance stabilized by delocalization of an electron pair throughout the molecule, as shown by the contributing structures
» Phenol - plastic masses, medicine industry, coloring industry and perfumes
» Cresols - plastic masses, explosive industry
» Naphthols - coloring industry
» Hydro quinine - photographic technique, coloring industry
|Uses of Phenols|