Phenol is used as a general disinfectant, as a reagent in chemical analysis and for the manufacture of artificial resins, medical and industrial organic compounds and dyes. It is also used in the manufacture of fertilisers, explosives, paints and paint removers, drugs, pharmaceuticals, textiles and coke. It is produced in large volume, mostly as an intermediate in the production of other chemicals.
The largest single use of phenol is as an intermediate in the production of phenolic resins, which are low-cost, versatile, thermoset resins used in the plywood adhesive, construction, automotive, and appliance industries. It is also used as an intermediate in the production of caprolactam, which is used to make nylon and other synthetic fibres, and bisphenol A, which is used to make epoxy and other resins.
Substance name: Phenol
CASR number: 108-95-2
Molecular formula: C6H7O
Synonyms: Carbolic acid, Hydroxybenzene, Phenic, monohydroxybenzene; phenic acid, phenylic acid, phenyl hydroxide; oxybenzene, monophenol, phenyl hydrate, phenylic alcohol; phenol alcohol; phenyl alcohol, phenol reagent, benzenol, carbolic, monophenol, Baker's P and S liquid and ointment, NCI-C50124, NA 2821 Molten RCRA.
Phenol is a colourless to pink solid or thick liquid with a characteristic sweet tar like odour.
Boiling Point: 181.8°C
Melting Point: 40.9°C
Vapour Pressure: 0.36 mm Hg at 20°C
Flash Point: 78.9°C
Phenol is highly soluble in water. Very soluble in alcohol, chloroform, ether, glycerol, carbon disulphide, petrolatum, volatile and fixed oils, aqueous alkali hydroxides. Almost insoluble in petroleum ether.
The National Pollutant Inventory (NPI) holds data for all sources of phenol emissions in Australia.
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