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4-Hydroxybenzoic Acid

4-Hydroxybenzoic Acid 4-Hydroxybenzoic Acid
4-Hydroxybenzoic acid
HS Code
Colorless crystals or white crystal to fine powder
Cas No.
Common Names
p-Hydroxybenzoic acid, para-Hydroxybenzoic acid, PHBA, 4-hydroxybenzoate
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  • Cosmetics
  • Pharma
Sub Category
  • Cosmetics & Personal Care
  • Medicinal


Brief Overview

PARA-HYDROXYBENZOIC ACID (PHBA), also known as 4-Hydroxybenzoic acid, is a phenolic derivative of benzoic acid. It is a solid that appears in a white crystal form. Its solubility in water is very small, however it is easily soluble in polar organic solvents such as alcohols and acetone. It is considered to be a precursor for other acids (mostly phenolic acids) in chemical reactions. 


Manufacturing Process

Para-hydroxybenzoic acid is manufactured commercially from the Kolbe-Schmitt reaction of potassium phenoxide and carbon dioxide. Another way of its production is to heat potassium salicylate with potassium carbonate to 240 °C, and later treat the substance with acid.

Medical Applications:

In the medical industry, para-hydroxybenzoic acid is used in the production of aspirin. It is a precursor of salicylic acid which is the basic component of this medicine.


Pharmaceutical Applications:

In the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries it is used to prepare preservatives (mostly parabens) for shampoos, commercial moisturizers, shaving gels, pharmaceuticals, personal lubricants, spray tanning solutions, and toothpaste.