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Colorless crystals that turn brown with exposure to air. Pyrocatechol can be synthesized from Coal tar and occurs naturally in some plant materials. Pyrocatechol is used in inks, photography, dyes, Leather tanning and as a light Stabilizer and Antioxidant.

Chemical structure


Synonyms and Related Terms

catechol; o-dihydroxybenzene; 1,2-benzenediol; dihydric phenol; pyrocatechin; 1,2-phendiol; Kachin


  • Toxic by ingestion, inhalation and skin absorption.
  • Skin contact causes irritation.
  • Combustible. Flash point = 127 C.
  • MilliporeSigma: SDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble in water, ethanol, ether, benzene. Dissolves and turns black in alkaline solutions.

Composition C6H4(OH)2
CAS 120-80-9
Melting Point 104 C
Density 1.371 g/ml
Molecular Weight mol. wt.=110.1
Boiling Point 245 C

Resources and Citations

  • Michael McCann, Artist Beware, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York City, 1979
  • Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993

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