There are open databases of organic spectral data online now. I found even CD-3 and CD-4. You can also now do this with your android phone with an attachment to the camera iirc.
Catechol goes at $5/100g, so that is no issue. NIR spectroscopy cannot be carried out in a way as simple as using one's phone (there are apps vor visible light spectroscopy, but it's mainly qualitative. I'll contact some friends and see if I can't get is tested in a mass spectrometer.
Well, I'd rather leave the spectro work to the professionals, given that I only have cursory knowledge of analysis, doing anything on my own will be little more than a waste of time.
Another remark not directly related to glycin synthesis, but generally useful(I think) : It may be possible to regenerate old brown glycin if you dissolve it in an alkaline solution and add ascorbic acid at 1/10 of the weight of the glycin. Boil until solution clears up and its color lightens. Note that this works for me, but your results may vary, so try it on a small (1/8g) amount and see if it works before going for a large batch.
Spectral analysis might be easier than you think.
Run the spectrum you wish, then look up glycin in a table of spectra. Compare them. If they match, you are ok. If they are similar, it is probably impure glycin, and if they are totally different, you will know you don't have glycin.
The ascorbic acid method looks interesting to me.
Well, in that case I might be doing it with the school's spectrophotometer, it's a standard unit I've seen in most manuals, so I believe I'd be able to test the glycin.
Ascorbic acid seems to be a very useful reducing agent, in the color chem. section I posted my tests of making a color developer with CD1( I know, I know, but it's the only thing I've got, and time, I have some time on my hands :D ), and I've substituted hydroxylamine, which I am reluctant to purchase in the kg range, as it is offered here, with 500mg/l ascorbic acid, which seems to retard oxidation enough to make a reasonably stable developer. Anyhow, I digress :)
Make sure the spectrophotometer is an IR unit and do NOT dissolve the sample in water. None of the items in the beam are made of glass, but rather are made of huge, specially grown and polished NaBr or NaCl crystals. They are phenomenally expensive. Of course there are special cuvettes that are transparent to IR as well.
There are some new words for you! :)
I do have some quartz cuvettes I used in my dye laser project, I think their transmission values should reach IR. I have seen people growing NaBr crystals for CO2 lasers, and worrying about water leaks from the cooling jackets. Anyhow, I'll check up the unit soon...
If you have any interpretatoin problems, I have one spectrum textbook here, but it is not very inclusive. However, I might be able to recall enough of my course in interpretation to help you out. (no promises-I'm very rusty at this)
> in the range or $10-15 to the gram
You can get photographyc glycin by a much lower price