His earlier work included an investigation of succinic acid, and the preparation of phenyl cyanide (benzonitrile), the simplest nitrile of the aromatic series; but later his time was mainly occupied with questions of technology and public health rather than with pure chemistry.
The aldehyde group also reacts with phenyl hydrazine to form two phenylhydrazones; under certain conditions a hydroxyl group adjacent to the aldehyde group is oxidized and glucosazone is produced; this glucosazone is decomposed by hydrochloric acid into phenyl hydrazine and the keto-aldehyde glucosone.
Silicobenzoic acid, C 6 H 5 S10.0H, results from the action of dilute aqueous ammonia on phenyl silicon chloride (obtained from mercury diphenyl and silicon tetrachloride).
Methyl and phenyl anthracenes are known; phenyl anthranol (phthalidin) being somewhat closely related to the phenolphthaleins.
It can be prepared by the reduction of phenyl propiolic acid with zinc and acetic acid, by heating benzal malonic acid, by the condensation of ethyl acetate with benzaldehyde in the presence of sodium ethylate or by the so-called "Perkin reaction"; the latter being the method commonly employed.