Pyrocatechol is a colorless crystalline solid. Being exposured to light it turns to brown color. Catechol is readily soluble in water, diethyl ether, acetone, ethanol, methanol, pyridine. Pyrocatechol possesses phenol properties. Being alkylated with isobutylene it forms mono- and disubstituted adducts.
Catechol is prepared by fusing ortho-phenolsulphonic acid or o-chlorphenol with potash.
catechol is used for preparation of guaiacol, veratrol and other ethers;
as a photographic developer in solution;
as an intermediate product in alizarin production;
as a starting material to produce synthetic catecholamines which have important physiological effects as neurotransmitters and hormones (such as epinephrine, adrenaline, norepinephrine, and dopamine);