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Benzilic acid is a white crystalline aromatic acid soluble in many primary alcohols. It can be prepared by heating mixture of benzil, alcohol and potassium hydroxide. The other preparation way is through benzaldehyde, which dimerizates to benzil and it is further transformed by benzilic acid rearrangement to benzilic acid. This reaction was also the first example of benzilic acid rearrangement performed by Liebig in 1838.
Benzilic acid is used in organic synthesis, as a base point for preparation of glycollate pharmaceuticals and some hallucinogenic drugs.