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Alpha-naphthol tautomerism

1-Naphthol, also known as α-naphthol, is an organic compound with the formula C10H7OH. It is a white, crystalline solid that is slightly soluble in water but more soluble in organic solvents. 1-Naphthol is an isomer of 2-naphthol, differing by the location of the hydroxyl group on the naphthalene ring. The compound is an important intermediate in the synthesis of various dyes, pigments, and other chemical compounds.

Properties[edit | edit source]

1-Naphthol has a melting point of 94°C and a boiling point of 278°C. It is classified as a phenolic compound, similar to phenol itself but with the hydroxyl group attached to a naphthalene ring instead of a benzene ring. This structural difference imparts unique chemical properties to 1-naphthol, making it useful in various chemical reactions and applications.

Production[edit | edit source]

1-Naphthol is primarily produced by two methods. The first method involves the sulfonation of naphthalene to give 1-naphthalenesulfonic acid, which is then fused with sodium hydroxide to yield 1-naphthol. The second method is the hydrolysis of 1-naphthylamine, which is obtained from the nitration of naphthalene followed by reduction.

Applications[edit | edit source]

1-Naphthol is widely used in the manufacture of azo dyes. It reacts with diazonium salts to produce azo compounds, which are key intermediates in the production of various dyes and pigments. These dyes are used in textiles, food, and as biological stains.

In addition to its use in dye manufacturing, 1-naphthol serves as a precursor to various insecticides and fungicides. It is also employed in the synthesis of pharmaceuticals and as a reagent in some chemical reactions, where it is used to detect the presence of certain metal ions.

Safety[edit | edit source]

1-Naphthol is considered hazardous. It can cause irritation to the skin, eyes, and respiratory system. Prolonged or excessive exposure may lead to more severe health effects, including potential risks of cancer. Handling of 1-naphthol requires appropriate safety measures, including the use of personal protective equipment.

Environmental Impact[edit | edit source]

The environmental impact of 1-naphthol is a concern due to its toxicity and potential to contaminate water sources. It is biodegradable under certain conditions, but its presence in the environment can be harmful to aquatic life and ecosystems.


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD