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- They are a homologous series
- Alcohols are soluble in water because they can form hydrogen bonds
What is the general formula?
- Alcohol is polar which causes hyrogen bonding between the molecules
- They have lower volatility
- Higher than expected boiling points
- Alcohols burn to form carbon dioxide and water
- This reaction is exothermic
Elimination of water
When alcohols are heated with a acid catalyst water is eliminated to give an alkene
In the presence of an acid catalyst alcohols react with carboxylic acids to form sweet smeeling liquids
Classification of alcohols
- Primary - On the carbon with the OH group with two hydrogen atoms
- Secondary - On the carbon with the Oh group with only one hydrogen atom
- Tertiary - On the carbon atom with the OH group with no hydrogen
How to distinguish between alcohols
- Primary and secondary alcohols have at least one hydrogen atom on a carbon as well as the OH. One of these hydrogens and a hydrogen on the OH can be removed.
- They both can be oxidised
- Tertiary can not be oxidised