Resorcinol

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What is Resorcinol? 

Resorcinol is a white water-soluble organic compound which is mainly used in the production of resins. It is found in solid flaky form. It is also known as resorcin, 1,3-dihydroxybenzene, 3-hydroxyphenol and m-benzenediol. It is one of the three isomeric benzenediols. 

Molecular formula of Resorcinol – C6H4(OH)2.

Structural formula of Resorcinol – 

Its IUPAC name is Benzene-1,3-diol. Ball and stick model of resorcinol is given below-

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Properties of Resorcinol 

Physical Properties – It shows following physical properties –

  • It is white in color and solid at room temperature. 

  • It is soluble in water, alcohol and ether.

  • Its molar mass is 110 g/mol.

  • It turns pink on exposure to air, light and iron. 

  • It gives a faint benzene odor. 

  • It is insoluble in chloroform and carbon disulfide. 

  • Its melting point is 110.

  • Its boiling point is 277.

  • Its density is 1.28g/cm3.

Chemical Properties – It shows following chemical properties –

  • It reduces Fehling’s solution and ammoniacal silver solution. 

  • Phthalic anhydride reaction with resorcinol –

  • Reaction of Resorcinol With Tert-amyl Alcohol –

  • Reaction of Resorcinol With Ethyl Acetoacetate –

  • Reaction of Resorcinol With Formaldehyde –

Production of Resorcinol 

Resorcinol is prepared from benzene. It crystallizes from benzene as colorless needles. Production of it from benzene takes place through several steps. It is a classic sulfonate fusion process. In this, benzene is treated with sulfuric acid at 100 which gives mono sulfonic acid. Which is converted to m-disulfonic acid with 65% oleum at 85. Now m-benzenedisulfonate melts in alkaline medium (NaOH) at 300 which gives resorcinol and sodium sulfite. Reaction is given below –


As the above reaction shows one step can be reduced by reacting SO3 directly to benzene. 

Applications of Resorcinol 

Large scale production of resorcinol itself shows its high demand in the market and usefulness. Few applications of resorcinol are listed below –

  • It is used in acne treatment. 

  • It is antiseptic and disinfectant so used in treatment of many chronic skin diseases such as eczema, psoriasis etc.

  • It is used in shampoo as an anti-dandruff agent. 

  • Its 2% solution has been used in the treatment of hay fever and whooping cough.

  • It protects from UV -rays so used in sunscreens. 

  • It is used in treatment of gastric ulcers.

  • It is used in many medicated soaps as well.

  • It is used in the production of diazo dyes, plasticizers and resins.

  • It is used as an analytical reagent for qualitative determination of ketoses. 

  • It is used in explosive materials as well.

  • It is used in synthesis of raw materials for aerogel.

  • As it can withstand a wide range of temperatures So,

  •  it is used in the automotive industry as well. 

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