2-hydroxybenzoic acid

4-Hydroxybenzoic acid

4-Hydroxybenzoic acid, or p-hydroxybenzoic acid, is a phenolic derivative of benzoic acid. It is a white crystalline solid that is slightly soluble in water and chloroform, but soluble to extremely soluble in alcohols, ether, and acetone.

4-Hydroxybenzoic acid is primarily known as the basis for the preparation of its esters, known as parabens, which are used as preservatives in cosmetics.

Production

4-Hydroxybenzoic acid is produced commercially from potassium phenoxide and carbon dioxide in the Kolbe-Schmitt reaction. It can also be produced in the laboratory by heating potassium salicylate with potassium carbonate to 240 °C, followed by treating with acid.

See also

The closely related 2-hydroxybenzoic acid is known as salicylic acid, a precursor to aspirin.

References

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