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Product name hydroquinone
Synonyms 1,4-benzenediol
GOST no data
CAS 123-31-9

Hydroquinone is a colorless crystalline solid. It is soluble in ethanol, methanol, acetone, ether; partly soluble in water. Hydroquinone is a strong reducing agent. Upon oxidation it turns to quinhydrone (charge transfer complex of quinone and hydroquinone in proportion 1:1) and then to p-benzoquinone.


There are some methods of hydroquinone preparation:

  • aniline sulfate oxidation with MnO2 or H2CrO4 to p-benzoquinone with following reduction with iron powder in water at 70-80°C in the presence of NaHSO3;
  • phenol oxidation with 70% hydrogen peroxide at 90°C in the presence of catalyst (75% H3PO4 or 65% HClO4). This reaction results in the mixture of catechol and hydroquinone which is separated by rectification;
  • 1,4-diisopropylbenzene oxidation with the oxygen of air with following acid hydrolysis to form hydroquinone and acetone;
  • interaction of phenol and acetone to give 4-isopropylphenol which is oxidized with hydrogen peroxide in acid medium to form hydroquinone and acetone;


  • hydroquinone is a a major component in most photographic developers where, with the synergist compound metol or phenidone, it reduces silver halides to elemental silver;
  • as a general-purpose inhibitor, stabilizer, antioxidant;
  • as an intermediate to make other inhibitors, stabilizers, antioxidants, agricultural chemicals, and dyes;
  • as an intermediate to produce pharmaceuticals;
  • in quinhydron electrode for measuring pH;

  • Manufacturer(s) JSC DOS
    Chemical structure of hydroquinone

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