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Phenol to benzene

  1. Feb 22, 2012 #1
    How does zinc convert phenol to benzene? Its a metal and why metals react with alcohols they displace the hydrogen right? However zinc converts phenol to benzene. Why is it so? Will all divalent metals convert it to benzene?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 22, 2012 #2
    IIRC, you'd need 'activated zinc', that is with a pinch of copper as catalyst, and you are *reducing* the hydroxyl group.

    Lithium aluminium hydride should also work, but possibly too enthusiastically. ( It's a long, long time since I blew up that fume-cupboard but, by then, I was really good with a CO2 fire extinguisher ;- )

    Either brew would need ample reflux cooling and due care for phenol's toxicity.

    D'uh, and an ultrasonic bath to hasten the two-phase reaction ??
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
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