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alizarin(əlĭz`ərĭn), or 1,2-dihydroxyanthraquinone, mordant vegetable dye obtained originally from the root of the madder plant (Rubia tinctorum), in which it occurs as a glucoside. The term also includes a group of synthetic dyestuffs prepared from coal-tar derivatives. A method for the synthesis of alizarin was first discovered (1868) by Karl Graebe and Karl Liebermann, German chemists. With salts of metals the compound forms brilliant lakeslake,
in dyeing, an insoluble pigment formed by the reaction between an organic dye and a mordant. The color of a lake depends upon the mordant as well as the dye used. Generally, lakes are not as colorfast as many inorganic dyes, but their colors are more brilliant.
..... Click the link for more information. , although by itself it is a poor dye. Turkey red is produced with an aluminum mordant, other shades of red with calcium and tin salts, dark violet with iron mordants, and brownish red with chromium. Purpurin, also used in dyeing, occurs with alizarin in madder and is produced synthetically.
a dye in the form of orange crystals slightly soluble in water and readily soluble in aqueous alkalis; its melting point is 289°C.
Alizarin is found in the roots of the madder plant (Rubia tinctorum), extracts of which were used for dyeing as long ago as ancient times in Egypt, Persia, and India. Known as alizari, madder roots were imported to Europe from Eastern countries. Beginning with the second half of the 18th century, the madder was cultivated in the Crimea and the Caucasus. The dye was first obtained from the plant in 1826 by the French chemists P. Robiquet and J. Colin. Later, in 1869, the German chemists K. Graebe and K. T. Lieber-mann deduced the structure of alizarin and synthesized it for the first time. Cultivation of the madder came to an end when synthetic alizarin became cheaper than the natural product. Synthetic alizarin began to be produced in Russia in 1874 (in the city of Kirzhach).
Alizarin belongs to the class of mordant anthraquinone dyes. With the salts of certain polyvalent metals, alizarin forms colored complex compounds, the so-called lakes, which bond firmly with textile fibers. The most widely used compound of alizarin with aluminum is of bright red color; with iron, of violet color; and with chromium, of brown color.
Alizarin is scarcely used any longer as a textile dye, since it is inferior in quality to many other dyes and more expensive as well. However, it is used as an intermediate product in the synthesis of other dyes; for example, aluminum madder lake is used in the preparation of paints for artists, as well as in polygraphy.
R. R. GALLE