What is the mechanism of paracetamol synthesis from N‐acetylsulfanilic acid? [closed]

C can be converted to D with NaOH and heating at 300 °C. What is the mechanism of the reaction?

• Actually I am fairly curious. Google searching reveals sources such as Quora saying it's nucleophilic addition-elimination, but there are few details in those answers and I am not finding a primary source. Vote to reopen. Sep 19 at 10:14
• I am frankly surprised that the N-acetyl group survives the conditions. Sep 19 at 11:17
• @waylander that group probably deprotonates at N and hunkers down. Would not be as good a leaving group as sulfite. Sep 19 at 11:21
• Due to apparent interest from community I voted to reopen upfront after adding chemical names and correcting units. It would be nice if OP could add their research to prevent the question from being closed again. Sep 19 at 21:36

Finally I find a primary reference by Oae et al.[1] They react benzenesulfonic acid with fused potassium hydroxide using isotopically labelled chemicals. The isotopic labelling results favor a direct nucleophilic substitution of hydroxide for sulfite, so that the only ring position involved in the reaction is that originally holding the sulfonate function. This is called $$\ce{S_N2}$$ in the paper; today we use addition-elimination since with an aromatic substrate, a full-fledged addition intermediate is formed in this mechanism. A benzyne mechanism and attack on sulfur (followed by rearrangement of the oxygen atoms) are rejected. The abstract is quoted below.