Qualitative Tests, Structure and Uses of Phenol, Cresols, Resorcinol, Naphthols : Pharmaguideline

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Qualitative Tests, Structure and Uses of Phenol, Cresols, Resorcinol, Naphthols

Organic compounds (phenols) contain hydroxyl groups (-OH) attached to their carbon atoms, forming aromatic rings.



Organic compounds (phenols) contain hydroxyl groups (-OH) attached to their carbon atoms, forming aromatic rings. Benzene (C6H5OH), also called carbolic acid or benzenol, is the simplest member of the phenol class, and it is the name of the entire class. Hydrogen bonds between alcohol molecules are weaker than those between phenol molecules. This property causes them to vaporize at higher temperatures and to dissolve in water more easily than alcohols. Depending on its temperature, the substance can exist as a colourless liquid or a white solid, which may be hazardous.


  • Phenol has been proven to be an effective antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiviral agent. Several studies have been conducted in order to understand the mechanism of action behind the properties of these plants. A number of studies have hypothesized that it interferes with the production of protein and RNA, which can then result in the death of microorganisms. According to studies, the substance destroys cytoplasmic membranes in microbes.
  • Phenol, though in very small amounts, is also used in mouthwashes to effectively remove bacteria from the mouth as well as to clean the mouth.
  • Phosphorus is one of the raw materials required for many chemicals and products, including picric acid, pharmaceuticals, explosives, and plastic polymers.
  • The colouring industry uses phenols as a starting material to create azo dyes.
  • There are many industries that use phenol as a chemical intermediate for the manufacture or production of different substances.
  • In the wood industry, phenol is also used as a preservative to protect wood against microorganism attacks.



Known as cresols, organic compounds containing methyl phenols are organic compounds. Phenols are a group of aromatic compounds that can be found both naturally and in manufactured products. In other words, phenolics are compounds that are sometimes called phenols. Depending on the room temperature, solids and liquids have different melting points.

Chemically, cresols have a methyl group attached to the phenol ring. Metacresol (m-cresol), paracresol (p-cresol), and orthocresol (o-cresol) are three isomers of cresol. Depending on which form they take, there is either a separate or mixed form, which is known as cresol or tricresol, respectively. Coal tar provides more than half of the global supply of cresols. Those that are left can be made by hydrolyzing chlorotoluene or using sulfonates. The second approach requires methylating phenol with methanol over a metal oxide or alumina catalyst, which is often alumina or magnesium oxide. Typical temperature ranges are above 300°C. When conditions are met, anisole will convert to cresol.


Cresols are also used to make textiles and paints. Mixtures of cresols are used to remove carbon from combustion engines as well as to remove wire enamel and metal degreasers. There are also applications for cresol mixtures in ore flotation and fiber treatment. Crude cresols can also be used to preserve wood.



Is a white crystalline liquid that is soluble in water and is one of three isomeric benzenediols. Resorcin and m-Dihydroxybenzene are other names for it. A benzenediol isomer with 1,3 carbons. It is a dihydroxylated benzenediol whose 3-and-1 positions are hydroxylated with benzene. As an erythropoietin inhibitor and a sensitizer, it acts as a powerful agent. Water, ether, and alcohol are soluble in Resorcin, a crystalline solid that is very white. A sweetish to bitter taste is associated with a faint odor. Chloroform and carbon disulfide do not dissolve in it. When it is exposed to light, it turns pink in its pure state. But it is hard to ignite when it is in its pure form. Pharmaceuticals and plastics are made from it.


  • Resorcinol is an antiseptic or disinfectant found in pharmaceutical products.
  • Resins are manufactured with it.
  • Ketones are analyzed with this reagent to determine their quality.



Mothballs primarily contain naphthalene, an aromatic hydrocarbon. Benzene rings in polyaromatic compounds contain more than one, while hydrogen and carbon atoms are the only components of hydrocarbon compounds. Naphthol which is a derivative of naphthalene, Naphthalene and naphthol are distinguished by the presence of an hydroxyl group (-OH).


One method of manufacturing 1-naphthol is to manufacture dyes, pharmaceuticals, and other products containing azo dyes. A naphthol biomarker can be made using naphthol. This Molisch reagent, which combines 1-naphthol with ethanol, can be used to determine the presence of carbohydrates. It is used to determine whether proteins contain arginine in the Sakaguchi test using sodium hypobromide.
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Ankur Choudhary is India's first professional pharmaceutical blogger, author and founder of pharmaguideline.com, a widely-read pharmaceutical blog since 2008. Sign-up for the free email updates for your daily dose of pharmaceutical tips.
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