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Hydroquinone is used as a reducing agent and finds applications in black and white photographic developers for film and paper along with 4-(methylamino)phenol sulfate (metol). In this application, silver halides are reduced to elemental silver. It acts as a polymerization inhibitor which prevents polymerization of acrylic acid, methyl methacrylate, cyanoacrylate and other monomers. It undergoes mild oxidation to convert into parabenzoquinone. It is also used as an intermediate to produce antioxidants for rubber and food.
Widely used as a radical trap to inhibit polymerization and peroxidation reactions.
Forms inclusion compounds (clathrates) with three molecules of hydroquinone held together by H bonds to form a cage in which a single guest molecule can be accommodated. For a review, see: D. D. MacNicol in Inclusion Compounds, Vol. 2, J. L. Atwood et al, Eds., Academic Press, London (1984), p1.
A stable 1:1 complex with hydrazine has been isolated and found to be a useful, safer replacement for anhydrous hydrazine, e.g. in the solid state reaction with esters to give hydrazides: J. Chem. Soc., Chem. Commun., 1531 (1995).
Boota, M.; Hatzell, K. B.; Kumbur, E. C.; Gogotsi, Y. Towards High-Energy-Density Pseudocapacitive Flowable Electrodes by the Incorporation of Hydroquinone. ChemSusChem 2015, 8 (5), 835-843.
Buzzo, G. S.; Rodrigues, A. C. B.; De Souza, R. F. B.; Silva, J. C. M.; Bastos, E. L.; Spinace, E. V.; Assumpcao, M. H. M. T. Synthesis of hydroquinone with co-generation of electricity from phenol aqueous solution in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell reactor. Catal. Commun. 2015, 59, 113-115.
Hazard Statements: H302-H317-H318-H335-H341-H351-H500
Harmful if swallowed. May cause an allergic skin reaction. Causes serious eye damage. May cause respiratory irritation. 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+P312-P302+P352-P304+P340-P305+P351+P338-P308+P313-P310-P330-P333+P313-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: Call a POISON CENTER or doctor/physician if you feel unwell. 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. Immediately call a POISON CENTER or doctor/physician. Rinse mouth. If skin irritation or rash occurs: Wash contaminated clothing before reuse. Dispose of contents/ container to an approved waste disposal plant