Reactions With Alcohols

Organic Reactions

** Alcohols **

General Formula: CnH2n+1OH


Main Bond: Hydrogen Bond


Alcohol Classification:

- primary 1o - attached to 1 R group (at the end of a carbon chain)

- secondary 2o - attached to 2 R groups (at a branch of a carbon chain)

- tertiary 3o - attached to 3 R groups


Main Reactions:

Combustion, Oxidation with Primary and Secondary Alcohols

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Combustion

Alcohol + Oxygen → CO2 + H2O


Conditions:

Little bit of heat to get it going and plenty of oxygen.


Examples:

(see photo below)

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Esterification

Alcohol + Carboxylic Acid


Conditions:

Acidic solution and heat


Examples:

(see photo below)


Uses/Other:

Esters are used in flavoring agents, plasticizers, as solvents in perfume, polyesters

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Oxidation (Primary Alcohol)

Alcohol + Oxidizing Agent (KMnO4, K2Cr2O7) → Aldehyde


Conditions:

For incomplete oxidation:

Distillation in acidic aqueous solution


Alcohol + Oxidizing Agent (KMnO4, K2Cr2O7) → Carboxylic Acid


Conditions:

For complete oxidation:

Heat under reflux in acidic aqueous solution


***


Examples:

(See photo below)

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Oxidation (Secondary Alcohol)

Alcohol + Oxidizing Agent (KMnO4, K2Cr2O7) → Ketone


Conditions:

Heat under reflux in acidic acidic aqueous solution


Example:

(See photo below)

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Oxidation (Tertiary Alcohol)

Resistant to Oxidation
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Oxidation of primary alcohol to yield carboxylic acid
Esterification Mechanism: making an ester from a carboxylic acid and an alcohol