Phenols are compounds consisting of a hydroxyl group and an aromatic carbon ring. Phenols can be found in nature as well as made synthetically. One simple example of a phenol compound is a compound appropriately named phenol. Phenols can undergo oxidative de-aromatization to quinones in a reaction known as the Teuber reaction. The oxidizing reagents are Fremy’s salt and oxone. 3,4,5-trimethylphenol, in this reaction, reacts with singlet oxygen generated from oxone/sodium carbonate in an acetonitrile/water mixture to form para-peroxyquinole. This hydroperoxide is reduced to the quinole with sodium thiosulfate. Phenols are oxidized to hydroquinones in the Elbs persulfate oxidation. The Elbs persulfate oxidation is the organic reaction of phenols with alkaline potassium persulfate to form para-diphenols.
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