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Difference between phenols and polyphenols

Nov. 19, 2021

The main difference between phenol and polyphenol is that phenol is an aromatic compound containing a benzene ring replaced by a hydroxyl group, while polyphenols are aromatic compounds containing multiple phenolic groups.

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What is phenol?

Phenol can be made into a volatile white solid. Because of the presence of removable protons on the hydroxyl group of phenol, the compound is a weak acid. In addition, we must handle phenol solutions carefully to prevent burns.

Phenol can be produced by extraction from coal tar. The main production method is the extraction from petroleum-derived raw materials. The production process of phenol is the "kerene process". This white phenol solid has a tarry sweet taste. In addition, it is soluble in water due to its polarity.

Phenol tends to undergo electrophilic substitution reactions because the lone electron pair of the oxygen atom is provided to the ring structure. Therefore, many groups, including halogens, acyl groups, sulfur-containing groups, etc., can be substituted to the ring structure. Phenol can be reduced to benzene by distillation with zinc powder.


What is a polyphenol?

Polyphenols are large aromatic compounds that contain more than one phenolic group. These compounds exist in their natural form or can be made as synthetic compounds. Sometimes, they can also be available in semi-synthetic forms. Polyphenols are usually very large compounds. In addition, these compounds tend to be deposited in the cellular vesicles. The molecular weight of polyphenols allows them to diffuse rapidly across the cell membrane.


What is the difference between phenols and polyphenols?

The main difference between phenols and polyphenols is that phenols are aromatic compounds containing a benzene ring substituted with a hydroxyl group, while polyphenols are aromatic compounds containing more than one phenolic group. In addition, phenols contain one phenolic group per molecule, while polyphenols contain more than one phenolic group per molecule.

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