The acidic compound C14H22O3, previously reported without assignment of structure as an oxidation product of 2,6-di-tert-butyl-4-methylphenol, is now believed to be DL-trans-5,6-di-tert-butyl-2-hydroxy-1,4-diketo-2-cyclohexene (I). Chemical properties are described and infrared spectra are presented in support of this structure. This structure is of interest in relation to the problem of the existence of o-di-tert-alkylbenzene derivatives. The relatively easy racemization of optically active I suggests that its completely enolized form, 5,6-di-tert-butyl-1,2,4-trihydroxybenzene, is capable of transitory existence.
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Oxidation of 2,6-di-tert-butyl-4-methylphenol. The structure of C14H22O3