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Hydroquinone, also benzene-1,4-diol or quinol, is an aromatic organic
compound which is a type of phenol, having the chemical formula C6H4(OH)2.
Hydroquinones are one of the two primary reagents in the defensive glands
of bombardier beetles, along with hydrogen peroxide, which collect in a
Hydroquinone can undergo mild oxidation to convert to the compound
parabenzoquinone, C6H4O2, often called p-quinone or simply quinone.
Reduction of quinone reverses this reaction back to hydroquinone.
Some biochemical compounds in nature have this sort of hydroquinone or
quinone section in their structures, such as Coenzyme Q, and can undergo
similar redox interconversions.
- Hydroquinone is used as a topical
application in skin whitening to reduce the color of skin as it does not
have the same predisposition to cause dermatitis as Metol does.
- It is also used as a raw material of
herbicides, rubber antioxidants and dye stuffs.
- It is a major component in most
photographic developers where, with the compound Metol, it reduces
silver halides to elemental silver.
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