Carbon Compounds


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Physical Properties

  1. It is a colourless, volatile liquid with characteristic pleasant odour.

  2. It has boiling point of 351 K.

Chemical Properties

       Following are the important chemical properties of ethanol.

1. Combustibility

          Ethanol can easily burn in air to produce carbon dioxide and water.

Ethanol Producing Carbon Dioxide And Water

2. Reaction with Na Metal

       Ethanol Reacts With Sodium Metal To Produce Sodium Ethoxide And Hydrogen Gas

Reacts Ethanol With Sodium Metal

3. Dehydration of Ethanol

       When ethanol is heated to 1600-1700C in the presence of sulphuric acid (H2SO4) then a molecule of water is liberated and ethene is formed.

Dehydration Of Ethanol

4. Oxidation of Ethanol

       The oxidation of alcohol involves the formation of a carbon-oxygen bond. These reactions are also called degradation reactions because these reactions involve loss of hydrogen from ethanol. The oxidation process can be carried out by a number of reagents such as potassium permanganate (KMnO4) or chromic anhydride (CrO3).

1) Oxidation by Chromic Anhydride

       By chromic anhydride ethanol is converted into ethanal.

Oxidation of Ethanol by Chromic Anhydride

2) Oxidation by Potassium Permanganate

       Ethanol can be converted into ethanoic acid by oxidation of KMnO4 as follows:

Oxidation of Ethanol by Potassium Permanganate


       Ethanol reacts with carboxylic acids in the presence of conc. H2SO4 as catalyst to form sweet smelling substance called esters having general formula (RCOOR). This process is called esterification.

Esterification of Ethanol