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Phenolphthalein (/( ) / feh-NOL(F)-thə-leen) is a chemical compound with the formula C20H14O4 and is often written as "HIn", "HPh", "phph" or simply "Ph" in shorthand notation. Phenolphthalein is often used as an indicator in acid–base titrations. For this application, it turns colorless in acidic solutions and pink in basic solutions. It belongs to the class of dyes known as phthalein dyes.
|Preferred IUPAC name
3D model (JSmol)
CompTox Dashboard (EPA)
|Molar mass||318.328 g·mol−1|
|Density||1.277 g/cm3 (32 °C (90 °F))|
|Melting point||258–263 °C (496–505 °F; 531–536 K)|
|Solubility in other solvents||Insoluble in benzene and hexane; very soluble in ethanol and ether; slightly soluble in DMSO|
|UV-vis (λmax)||552 nm (1st)|
374 nm (2nd)
|H341, H350, H361|
|P201, P281, P308+P313|
|NFPA 704 (fire diamond)|
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Phenolphthalein is slightly soluble in water and usually is dissolved in alcohols in experiments. It is a weak acid, which can lose H+ ions in solution. The nonionized phenolphthalein molecule is colorless and the double deprotonated phenolphthalein ion is fuchsia. Further proton loss in higher pH occurs slowly and leads to a colorless form. Phenolphthalein ion in concentrated sulfuric acid is orange red due to sulfonation.
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