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In organic chemistry, phenols, sometimes called phenolics, are a class of chemical compounds consisting of a hydroxyl group (-O H) attached to an aromatic hydrocarbon group. The simplest of the class is phenol (C6H5OH).
Although similar to alcohols, phenols have unique properties and are not classified as alcohols (since the hydroxyl group is not bonded to a saturated carbon atom). They have relatively higher acidities due to the aromatic ring's tight coupling with the oxygen and a relatively loose bond between the oxygen and hydrogen. The acidity of the hydroxyl group in phenols is commonly intermediate between that of aliphatic alcohols and carboxylic acids (their pKa is usually comprised between 10 and 12). Loss of a positive hydrogen ion (H+) from the hydroxyl group of a phenol forms a negative phenolate ion.
Some phenols are germicidal and are used in formulating disinfectants. Others possess estrogenic or endocrine disrupting activity.
Additional recommended knowledge
Synthesis of phenols
Several laboratory methods for the synthesis of phenols:
Reactions of phenols
Phenols react in a wide variety of ways.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Phenols". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|