CAS number 108-46-3 YesY
PubChem 5054
ChemSpider 4878 YesY
UN number 2876
KEGG D00133 YesY
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Molecular formula C6H6O2
Molar mass 110.1 g/mol
Appearance White solid
Density 1.28 g/cm3, solid
Melting point

110 °C, 383 K, 230 °F

Boiling point

277 °C, 550 K, 531 °F

Solubility in water 110 g/100 mL at 20 °C
Acidity (pKa) 9.15[1]
EU classification Harmful (Xn)
Dangerous for
the environment (N)
 N (verify) (what is: YesY/N?)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox references

Resorcinol (or resorcin) is a dihydroxy benzene. It is the 1,3-isomer of benzenediol with the formula C6H4(OH)2.



Benzene-1,3-diol is the name recommended by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) in its 1993 Recommendations for the Nomenclature of Organic Chemistry.[2]


It is produced when any of a large number of resins (e.g., galbanum, asafoetida, etc.) are melted with potassium hydroxide, or by the distillation of Brazilwood extract. It may be prepared synthetically by melting 3-iodophenol, phenol-3-sulfonic acid, or benzene-1,3-disulfonic acid with potassium carbonate; by the action of nitrous acid on 3-aminophenol; or by the action of 10% hydrochloric acid on 1,3-diaminobenzene.[3] Many ortho- and para-compounds of the aromatic series (for example, the bromophenols, benzene-para-disulfonic acid) also yield resorcinol on fusion with potassium hydroxide.


Resorcinol crystallizes from benzene as colorless needles that are readily soluble in water, alcohol, and ether, but insoluble in chloroform and carbon disulfide. It reduces Fehling's solution and ammoniacal silver solutions. It does not form a precipitate with lead acetate[disambiguation needed ] solution, as the isomeric pyrocatechol does. Iron(III) chloride colors its aqueous solution a dark-violet, and bromine water precipitates tribromoresorcin. These properties are what give it its use as a colouring agent for certain chromatography experiments. Sodium amalgam reduces it to dihydroresorcin, which when heated to 150 to 160 °C with concentrated barium hydroxide solution gives γ-acetylbutyric acid (D. Vorlgnder); when fused with potassium hydroxide, resorcinol yields phloroglucin, pyrocatechol, and diresorcin. It condenses with acids or acid chlorides, in the presence of dehydrating agents, to oxyketones, e.g. with zinc chloride and glacial acetic acid at 145 °C it yields resacetophenone (HO)2C6H3~CO.CH3.[4] With the anhydrides of dibasic acids, it yields fluoresceins. When heated with calcium chlorideammonia to 200 °C it yields meta-dioxydiphenylamine.[5] With sodium nitrite it forms a water-soluble blue dye, which is turned red by acids, and is used as an indicator, under the name of lacmoid.[6] It condenses readily with aldehydes, yielding with formaldehyde, on the addition of catalytic hydrochloric acid, methylene diresorcin [(HO)C6H3(O)]2•CH2. Reaction with chloral hydrate in the presence of potassium bisulfate yields the lactone of tetra-oxydiphenyl methane carboxylic acid.[7] In alcoholic solution it condenses with sodium acetoacetate to form 4-methylumbelliferone.[8]

In addition to electrophilic aromatic addition, resorcinol (and other poly-ols)undergo nucleophilic substitution via the enone form. With concentrated nitric acid, in the presence of cold concentrated sulfuric acid, it yields trinitro-resorcin (styphnic acid), which forms yellow crystals, exploding violently on rapid heating.


Parts of a molecule of catechin, another natural compound that is present in tea, has the resorcinol skeleton structure in it.



Used externally, it is an antiseptic and disinfectant, and is used 5 to 10% in ointments in the treatment of chronic skin diseases such as psoriasis, hidradenitis suppurativa, and eczema of a sub-acute character.[citation needed] It is present in over-the-counter topical acne treatments at 2% or less concentration, and in prescription treatments at higher concentrations.[citation needed] Weak, watery solutions of resorcinol (25 to 35 g/kg) are useful in allaying the itching in erythematous eczema.[citation needed] A 2% solution used as a spray has been used with marked effect in hay fever and in whooping cough.[citation needed] In the latter disease 0.6 mL of the 2% solution has been given internally. It can be included as an anti-dandruff agent in shampoo or in sunscreen cosmetics.[citation needed] It has also been employed in the treatment of gastric ulcers in doses of 125 to 250 mg in pills, and is said to be analgesic and haemostatic in its action.[citation needed] In large doses, it is a poison, causing giddiness, deafness, salivation, sweating, and convulsions. It is also worked up in certain medicated soaps.[citation needed] Monoacetylresorcinol, C6H4(OH)(O-COCH3), is used under the name of euresol.[citation needed] Resorcinol is one of the main active ingredients in products like Resinol and Vagisil. Resorcinol is also an active ingredient in certain Clearasil products.


Resorcinol is also used as a chemical intermediate for the synthesis of pharmaceuticals and other organic compounds. It is used in the production of diazo dyes and plasticizers and as a UV absorber in resins.

An emerging use of resorcinol is as a template molecule in supramolecular chemistry. The -OH groups on resorcinol form hydrogen bonds to target molecules, holding them in the proper orientation for a reaction. Many such reactions are able to be carried out in the solid state, thereby reducing or eliminating the use of solvents that may be harmful to the environment. (see Green chemistry)

Resorcinol is an analytical reagent for the qualitative determinaion of ketoses (Seliwanoff's test).

Resorcinol is the starting material for resorcinarene molecules and the initiating explosive lead styphnate (Reference: Army TM 9-1300-214, p. 7–12).

Resorcinol reacts with formaldehyde to form a thermoset resin, which can form the basis of an aerogel.

Related compounds

Resazurin, C12H7NO4, obtained by the action of nitrous acid on resorcinol,[9] forms small dark red crystals possessing a greenish metallic glance. When dissolved in concentrated sulfuric acid and warmed to 210 °C, the solution on pouring into water yields a precipitate of resorufin, C12H7NO3, an oxyphenoxazone, which is insoluble in water, but is readily soluble in hot concentrated hydrochloric acid, and in solutions of caustic alkalis. The alkaline solutions are of a rose-red color and show a cinnabar-red fluorescence. A tetrabromresorufin is used as a dye-stuff under the name of Fluorescent Resorcin Blue.

Thioresorcinol is obtained by the action of zinc and hydrochloric acid on the chloride of benzene meta-disulfonic acid. It melts at 27 °C and boils at 243 °C. Resorcinol disulfonic acid (HO)2C6H2(HSO3)2, is a deliquescent mass obtained by the action of sulfuric acid on resorcin.[10] It is easily soluble in water and decomposes when heated to 100 °C.

Alkylresorcinols are a class of phenolic lipids fund in wheat or rye brans.

See also

  • Resorcinol glue


  1. ^ Gawron, O., Duggan, M., Grelechi, C., J. Anal. Chem., 1952, 24, 969.
  2. ^ Panico, R.; & Powell, W. H. (Eds.) (1994). A Guide to IUPAC Nomenclature of Organic Compounds 1993. Oxford: Blackwell Science. ISBN 0-632-03488-2. 
  3. ^ Meyer, J (1897). Ber 30: 2569. 
  4. ^ M. Nencki and N. Sieber, Jour. prak. Chem., 1881, 23, p. 147
  5. ^ A. Seyewitz, Bull. Soc. Chins., 1890, 3, p. 811
  6. ^ M. C. Traub and C. Hock, Ber., 1884, 17, p. 2615
  7. ^ J. T. Hewitt and F. G. Pope, Jour. C/tern. Soc., 1897, 75, p. 1084
  8. ^ A. Michael, Jour. prak. Chem., 1888, 37, 470
  9. ^ Weselsky, P; Benedikt, R (1880). Monats. f: 889. 
  10. ^ Fischer, H (1881). Monats. 2: 321. 

External links

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Resorcinol — Nombre (IUPAC) sistemático …   Wikipedia Español

  • Resorcinōl — Resorcinōl, ein Gemisch von Resorcin und Jodoform, dient als Streupulver bei Hautkrankheiten …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

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  • resorcinol — [ri zôr′sisinri zôr′si nôl΄, ri zôr′sinōl΄] n. [ RES(IN) + ORCINOL] a colorless, crystalline compound, C6H4 (OH) 2, prepared synthetically or by fusing certain resins with caustic alkalies and used in making dyes, celluloid, pharmaceuticals, etc …   English World dictionary

  • Résorcinol — Résorcine Résorcine Structure de la résorcine Général Nom IUPAC benzène 1,3 diol …   Wikipédia en Français

  • resorcinol — /ri zawr seuh nawl , nol , rez awr /, n. Chem., Pharm. a white, needlelike, water soluble solid, C6H6O2, a benzene derivative originally obtained from certain resins, now usually synthesized: used chiefly in making dyes, as a reagent, in tanning …   Universalium

  • Resorcinol — El resorcinol o m dihidroxibenceno o 1,3 dihidroxibenceno es un sólido incoloro, soluble en agua con reacción ligeramente ácida. Se trata de un reductor leve …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • resorcinol — rezorcinolis statusas T sritis chemija formulė C₆H₄(OH)₂ atitikmenys: angl. resorcinol rus. резорцин ryšiai: sinonimas – 1,3 benzendiolis …   Chemijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • resorcinol — noun Date: 1880 a crystalline phenol C6H6O2 obtained from various resins or artificially and used especially in making dyes, pharmaceuticals, and resins …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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