Uses & Benefits
Carbolic acid was used by Joseph Lister as one of the first antiseptics to sterilize medical equipment for cleaning wounds. When mixed with reagents, phenol can be an effective disinfectant for toilets, stables, floors and drains.
Phenolics are used as disinfectants in household cleaners and can have an anti-inflammatory effect in mouthwash. Butylated hydroxytoluene is a phenol that is a common antioxidant in food, cosmetics and industrial fluids.
Phenol is a major component of phenolic adhesives used in wood products like plywood and oriented strand board (OSB). Phenolics can also be used in wood preservatives such as creosote.
Industrial and Consumer Product Applications
Phenol is used to manufacture polycarbonate and epoxy resins, used in a range of consumer product and industrial applications, from protective eyewear, sports safety equipment and food containers to coatings, electronic equipment and automobiles
Phenolics also can be used as an intermediate for industrial synthesis to make a variety of products, ranging from plastics, explosives, paints, fertilizers, textiles, aspirin and paper. Hydroquinone, a common phenol, is used as a reduction agent in photographic developing solutions.