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(organic chemistry)
C6H4(OH)2 White crystals melting at 170°C and boiling at 285°C; soluble in alcohol, ether, and water; used in photographic dye chemicals, in medicine, as an antioxidant and inhibitor, and in paints, varnishes, and motor fuels and oils. Also known as hydrochinone; hydroquinol; quinol.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also called p-dihydroxy-benzene), colorless crystals. Melting point, 170.3° C; density, 1.358 g/cm3. Sublimates in a vacuum.

Hydroquinone is readily soluble in ethanol and ether and slightly soluble in benzene; 5.7 g of hydroquinone dissolves in 100 g of water at 15° C. It is a powerful reducing agent. In aqueous solutions, particularly alkaline solutions, it is oxidized by atmospheric oxygen.


Hydroquinone is produced industrially by the reduction of quinone, as well as by alkaline fusion of p -hydroxy-benzenesulfonic acid or p -chlorophenol.

Hydroquinone is used as a photographic developer and as an antioxidant. It is an intermediate in the synthesis of many organic dyes. In analytical chemistry it is used in the determination of a number of elements. The molecular compound of hydroquinone with quinone—so-called quinhydrone, C6H4O2 C6H4(OH)2—is used in determining hydrogen-ion concentration. The compound of hydroquinone with glucose, arbutin, is widespread in nature. Hydroquinone was first prepared by the German chemist F. Wöhler in 1844.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.