Topic 4



Have an -OH function group

The first 5 alcahols are clear colourles liquids at at room temperature.

The first three alcohols mix completely with water.

Alcohols can dissolve most of the compounds that water can dissolve. However it can also dissolve Hydrocarbons, oils and fats; which water can not.

Alcohols react with oxygen to produce carboxylic acids.

Alcohols are often used as solvents in perfumes and aftershaves. It is also used to procuce methylated spirits (clean paintbrushes and as a fuel)

Alcohol can also be used as a fuel. Pure ethanol is clean burning so the more ethanol in the petrol/ethanol mix, the less pollution produced.

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Carboxylic acids

Carboxylic acids have a -COOH function group

Like other acids carboxylic acids are corrosive especially when concentrated.

They react just like any other acid, with reactive metals, bases and carbonates. For example  Ethanoic acid + Magnesium --> Hydrogen + Magnesium Ethanoate

Ethanoic acid is the acid in vinegar. If wine or beer is left in open air the ethanol is oxidised to produce ethanoic acid.

Carboxylic acids are used in industry to produce soaps and esters.

The carboxlylic aicds with longer chaisn of carbon atoms are of ten refered to as fatty acids.

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Esters have the functional group -COO

Esters are formed in the process of Esterification (the reaction also produces water).

The alcohol forms the first part of the name and the acid forms the second.

Esters smell nice and are often used tp make perfumes, flavourings and aromas. However they do not mix well with water.

Some esters are used as solvents in for paint, ink, glue and nail varnish remover.

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