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Catechol is used as a developer for photographic films, dyes and an intermediate for antioxidants in rubber and lubricating oils. It is used in polymerization inhibitors and in pharmaceuticals. It is a building block in organic synthesis and involved in the preparation of flavors and fragrances. It is used as a replacement for sandalwood oil, which is prepared from catechol through guaiacol and camphor. Further, it is a precursor for the preparation of vanillin from guaiacol, which is obtained by methylation reaction with catechol.
Ring-opening with O2 in the presence of CuCl, pyridine and methanol gives the monoester of cis,cis-muconic acid: Org. Synth. Coll., 8, 490 (1993).
In the presence of catechol, carboxylic acids are reduced to alcohols by NaBH4: Tetrahedron, 48, 371 (1992).
For an example of the use of catechol in the synthesis of crown ethers, see: Org. Synth. Coll., 6, 395 (1988).
Jastrzebski, R.; van den Berg, E. J.; Weckhuysen, B. M.; Bruijnincx, P. C. A. Sustainable production of dimethyl adipate by non-heme iron(III) catalysed oxidative cleavage of catechol. Catal. Sci. Technol. 2015, 5 (4), 2103-2109.
Zhong, M.; Dai, Y.; Fan, L.; Lu, X.; Kan, X. A novel substitution-sensing for hydroquinone and catechol based on a poly(3-aminophenylboronic acid)/MWCNTs modified electrode. Analyst 2015, 140 (17), 6047-6053.
Hazard Statements: H301-H311-H315-H318-H341-H351
Toxic if swallowed. Toxic in contact with skin. Causes skin irritation. Causes serious eye damage. Suspected of causing genetic defects. Suspected of causing cancer.
Precautionary Statements: P201-P280-P301+P310a-P305+P351+P338-P405-P501a
Obtain special instructions before use. Wear protective gloves/protective clothing/eye protection/face protection. IF SWALLOWED: Immediately call a POISON CENTER/doctor IF IN EYES: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do. Continue rinsing. Store locked up. Dispose of contents/container in accordance with local/regional/national/international regulations.