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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-H317-H318-H332-H341-H351-H500
Toxic if swallowed. Toxic in contact with skin. Causes skin irritation. May cause an allergic skin reaction. Causes serious eye damage. Harmful if inhaled. Suspected of causing genetic defects. Suspected of causing cancer. May form combustible dust concentrations in air
Precautionary Statements: P201-P202-P261-P264b-P270-P271-P272-P280g-P281-P301+P310-P302+P352-P304+P340-P305+P351+P338-P308+P313-P310-P312-P330-P333+P313-P361-P363-P501c
Obtain special instructions before use. Do not handle until all safety precautions have been read and understood. Avoid breathing dust/fume/gas/mist/vapours/spray. Wash face, hands and any exposed skin thoroughly after handling Do not eat, drink or smoke when using this product. Use only outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. Contaminated work clothing should not be allowed out of the workplace. Wear protective gloves. Use personal protective equipment as required. IF SWALLOWED: Immediately call a POISON CENTER or doctor/physician. IF ON SKIN: Wash with plenty of soap and water. IF INHALED: Remove to fresh air and keep at rest in a position comfortable for breathing. IF IN EYES: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do. Continue rinsing. IF exposed or concerned: Get medical advice/attention. Call a POISON CENTER or doctor/physician if you feel unwell. Rinse mouth. If skin irritation or rash occurs: Remove/Take off immediately all contaminated clothing. Wash contaminated clothing before reuse. Dispose of contents/ container to an approved waste disposal plant