Difference WikiChemistry

Difference Between Phenol and Phenyl

Main Difference

The main difference between Phenol and Phenyl is that Phenol is made up of an oxygen atom, whereas Phenyl does not consist of oxygen atoms.

Phenol vs. Phenyl

Phenol is known as the simplest aromatic alcohol; on the other hand, phenyl known as a chemical structure that consists of a benzene ring missing a hydrogen atom. The phenol considered as a stable compound; on the flip side, the group of phenyl when alone is deemed to be unstable, and it is highly reactive.

In phenol, a hydroxyl group is present; on the other hand, no hydroxyl groups are present in the phenyl. The phenol is having the molecular formula C6H5OH, whereas phenyl is consisting of a molecular formula C6H5. Phenol is known to be less reactive because it consists of a stable structure; on the contrary, the phenyl group is known to be highly reactive because it lacks a hydrogen atom, so it is seeking for an atom or a group of atoms to share an electron.

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Phenol is generally hydrophilic because it gets readily miscible with water through hydrogen bond formation; on the contrary, the phenyl is hydrophobic because it lacks a hydrogen atom, so it does not get miscible with water. The stability of phenol is due to the resonance stabilization; on the flip side, no resonance stabilization is present in phenyl, so it is an unstable compound.

Phenol is a little or lower acidic, while phenyl is not acidic at all. The importance of phenol is that it is most importantly used in household products such as cleanser and mouthwash, and as an intermediate for industrial production, it has been a first surgical antiseptic. However, the importance of phenyl is that it is a strong deodorant, and it is an antiseptic for disinfecting areas such as places like nursing homes, hospitals, toilets, drains, cowsheds and phenyl hugely used for sanitation purpose.

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Comparison Chart

PhenolPhenyl
Phenol is known as an aromatic organic compound, and it is a white crystalline solid that is relatively volatile.The phenyl in organic chemistry is known as a cyclic group of atoms, and it is closely related to benzene but lacking a hydrogen atom.
Stability
A stable compoundConsidered unstable and it is highly reactive
Resonance Stabilization
The stability is due to the resonance stabilizationNo resonance stabilization is present, so it is an unstable compound
Molecular Formula
C6H5OHC6H5
Reactivity
Less reactiveHighly reactive
Hydroxyl Group
A hydroxyl group is presentNo hydroxyl groups are present
Water Solubility
Generally hydrophilic because it gets easily miscible with water through hydrogen bond formationHydrophobic because it lacks a hydrogen atom, so it does not get miscible with water
Acidity
A little or lower acidicNot acidic at all
Importance
Most importantly used in household products such as a cleanser and mouthwash and as an intermediate for industrial production, it has been a first surgical antisepticA strong deodorant and it is an antiseptic for disinfecting areas such as places like nursing homes, hospitals, toilets, drains, cowsheds and phenyl extremely used for sanitation purpose
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What is Phenol?

The simplest aromatic alcohol consisting of a molecular formula C6H5OH is known as phenol. About 94.11 g/mol is the known molar mass of the phenol. The molecules of phenol are aromatic because of the presence of a benzene ring, and this benzene ring further substituted with a hydroxyl group (-OH). In short, we can say that a phenol molecule consists of a phenyl group which is attached to a hydroxyl group.

Phenol is known as a weak acid. Phenol moderately dissociates into phenolate anion in an aqueous solution, producing the hydronium cation. However, phenol is relatively acidic when compared to other alcohols; the phenolate ion usually is stabilized because of the delocalization of the negative charge through resonance.

The phenol is considered a transparent crystalline solid having the sweet odor at room temperature and pressure. Phenol is a volatile compound. Its melting point is approximately 40.5 0C, and the boiling point is about 181.7 0C. Phenol is hydrophilic, and it is miscible with water because of its ability to produce hydrogen bonds with molecules of water.

The vapors of phenol are destructive to the eyes and the skin because phenol is a toxic compound. But have wide importance in industries, for example, it is a precursor for the formation of many plastics. The main use of phenol is that it is used as a disinfectant and as an antiseptic.

What is Phenyl?

The chemical structure in organic chemistry consists of a benzene ring, but lacking a hydrogen atom having the molecular formula C6H5 is known as phenyl. As it does not consist of a hydrogen atom, so there is present a vacant point for other atoms or molecules to get involved with the phenyl group.

The geometry of a phenyl group is planar, and it is a cyclic structure. In its structure, five carbon atoms are attached with five hydrogen atoms individually. The remaining carbon atom does not have a hydrogen atom attached to it, so there is present a vacant point for other molecules to attach.

A phenyl group is considered more stable when compared to the other aliphatic alkyl groups because of the stabilization of the aromatic ring through the delocalization of pi electrons, while the phenyl group alone is not stable as the carbon atom has an incomplete electronic configuration.

Key Differences

  1. Phenol is known as an aromatic hydrocarbon compound having the molecular formula C6H5OH, whereas phenyl is known as a group of atoms with the molecular formula C6H5.
  2. A hydroxyl group is normally present in phenol; on the other hand, no hydroxyl groups are present in the phenyl.
  3. Phenol gets easily dissolve with water through the formation of the hydrogen bond, so it is hydrophilic; on the contrary, phenyl lacks hydrogen atom, so it does not dissolve into the water, so it is hydrophobic.
  4. The phenol is known as a stable compound, and its stability is due to the resonance equilibrium; on the flip side, phenyl is an unstable compound because its group is unstable, and no resonance equilibrium is present in the phenyl.
  5. As phenol consists of a stable structure, so it is less reactive; however, on the other hand, phenyl does not consist of a stable structure, so it is highly reactive.
  6. The phenol is considered as a mild or a little acidic that’s why it is widely used in household products like in cleansing and mouthwash, but it is an intermediate for industrial purpose, and as well as the phenol was a first known surgical antiseptic. On the other hand, the phenyl is no at all acidic, so it is importantly used as a germicide for disinfectant areas like homes, toilets, hospitals, nursing homes, etc.

Conclusion

The above discussion concludes that the Phenol is a stable compound, and it consists of an oxygen atom in its structure, while Phenyl is an unstable compound, and it does not consist of an oxygen atom in its structure.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss