Hydroquinone: Production and Application - WorldOfChemicals

Hydroquinone in General Chemistry



Hydroquinone is an aromatic organic compound which is a melanin synthesis inhibitor. It has a chemical formula of C6H4 (OH)2. It is a type of phenol which is a derivative of benzene. It consists of two hydroxyl groups bonded in a benzene ring similar to a para position. Hydroquinone is a white granular solid. Other derivatives of this compound are also denoted to as 1, 4-Benzenediol, Quinol, Benzene-1 and Hydrochinone. The term hydroquinone was coined by Friedrich Wöhler in 1843.



Production Method of Hydroquinone

Hydroqiunone is most often produced by the cumene process in a reaction mechanism and entails the dialkylation of benzene with propene to give out 1,4-diisopropylbenzene. The compound reacts with air to produce the bis(hydroperoxide), that is structurally associated with cumene hydroperoxide and reorders in acid to let out acetone and hydroquinone.


Applications of Hydroquinone

Hydroquinone is widely used as an inhibitor, an antioxidant, and as an intermediate chemical in the synthesis of dyes, motor fuels, and oils. In photographic processing, hydroquinone is a phenol by-product with antioxidant possessions that causes toxicity in various organs, chiefly in the kidney.


Hydroquinone is depleted for a topical treatment for skin hyperpigmentation and in distinct cosmetic products. Certain usage conditions comprise melasma, freckles, lentigines, age spots and acne scars. Skin sensitivity of hydroquinone may be ascertained beforehand of the treatment by applying a small amount of cream to the hyperpigmented area.


To have the desired effect, hydroquinone should be used along with a strong sunscreen.


Occurrence of Hydroquinone in nature

Hydroquinone is a foremost benzene metabolite, which is a well-known haematotoxic and carcinogenic agent related to malignancy in environments. Human contact to hydroquinone can take place by dietary, occupational, and environmental sources. In the environment, hydroquinone shows increase toxicity for aquatic organisms. Latest pieces of evidence showed that hydroquinone is able to augment carcinogenic risk by causing DNA damage.


In the recent research development on hydroquinone, the review emphasizes not only the mechanisms of hydroquinone biotransformation, the function of microorganisms and their enzymes in this process but also its toxicity in the environment.


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