Alcohols

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  • Alcohols
    • first 3 have similar properties
      • methanol = CH3OH
      • ethanol = C2H5OH
      • propanol = C3H7OH
      • are flammable - burn in air to form CO2 + H2O
      • dissolve completely in water to form neutral solutions
      • react with sodium to give hydrogen + alkoxides
        • e.g. ethanol gives sodium ethoxide + H2
    • functional group = -OH
    • general formula = CnH2n+1OH
      • functional group = -OH
    • used as solvents
      • can dissolve substances water can't dissolve (e.g. hydrocarbons, oils & fats) = useful solvents
      • ethanol is the solvent for perfumes & aftershave lotions
        • can mix with both the oils (smell) & the water (most of it)
      • 'methylated spirit' is ethanol with chemicals (e.g. methanol) added
        • is used to clean paint brushes & as a fuel
        • is poisonous to drink, so a purply-blue dye is added
    • used as fuels
      • ethanol is used as a fuel in spirit burners - burns fairly cleanly & doesn't smell
      • ethanol can be mixed with petrol for cars
        • less pollution produced
      • some countries grow lots of sugar cane, which they ferment to form ethanol = renewable

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