Properties of alcohols

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  • PROPERTIES OF ALCOHOLS
    • Volatility
      • Alcohols have a lower volatility than alkanes of similar molecular mass
        • This is due to the presence of hydrogen bonds
      • The ease that a liquid turns into a gas
        • Volatility increases as boiling point increases
    • Boiling points
      • Alcohols have relatively high melting and boiling points
        • This results from the presence of hydrogen bonds between the alcohol molecules
    • Solubility
      • Alcohols dissolve in water
        • This is because hydrogen bonds form between the polar (slightly negative) OH groups on the alcohol and the (slightly positive) H on the water molecule
          • The first three members of the alcohols homologous series are all soluble in water
            • Solubility decreases as chain length increases, the non polar hydrocarbon chain is insoluble - only OH is soluble
      • When water and ethanol are mixed, hydrogen bonds form between water and ethanol - this draws the molecules closer together than just ethanol or just water
        • This reduces the volume - heat is also generated as the hydrogen bonds form

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