Density 1.1 g/cm³
|Molar mass 144.17 g/mol|
|Appearance Colorless or white solid; commercial material is often strongly colored|
1-Naphthol, or α-naphthol, is a fluorescent organic compound with the formula C10H7OH. It is a white solid. It is an isomer of 2-naphthol differing by the location of the hydroxyl group on the naphthalene ring. The naphthols are naphthalene homologues of phenol, with the hydroxyl group being more reactive than in the phenols. Both isomers are soluble in simple alcohols, ethers, and chloroform. They are precursors to a variety of useful compounds. Naphthols (both 1 and 2 isomers) are used as biomarkers for livestock and humans exposed to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
1-Naphthol is prepared by two main routes. In one method, naphthalene is nitrated to give 1-nitronaphthalene, which is hydrogenated to the amine followed by hydrolysis:C10H8 + HNO3 → C10H7NO2 + H2OC10H7NO2 + 3 H2 → C10H7NH2 + 2 H2OC10H7NH2 + H2O → C10H7OH + NH3
1-Naphthol is a precursor to a variety of insecticides including carbaryl and pharmaceuticals including nadolol. It undergoes azo coupling to give various azo dyes, but these are generally less useful than those derived from 2-naphthol.
In Molisch's test, 1-naphthol dissolved in ethanol, known as Molisch's reagent, is used as reagent for detecting the presence of carbohydrates. The test known as Molisch's test would give a red- or purple-colored compound to indicate the presence of carbohydrate. The rapid furfural test, similar to Molisch's test, also uses 1-naphthol.
The Voges–Proskauer test uses 1-naphthol in potassium hydroxide (KOH) solution to detect the breakdown of glucose into acetoin which is used by bacteria for external energy storage. A positive test will be indicated by the appearance of a red color of the original yellow solution.