C7 Alchols, Alkanes, Carboxylic acids and esters

Comprehensive notes on C7 topics for OCR 21st century science.

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  • Created by: Tim Lloyd
  • Created on: 10-05-12 16:35
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C7 revision notes Alkanes, alcohols, carboxylic acids and esters
Alkanes are a family of hydrocarbons
They are made up of chains of carbon atoms surrounded by hydrogen atoms
They only contain a single covalent bond.
The alkane family contains molecules that look similar however they have
different length chains of carbon atoms.
The general equation for alkanes are: CnH2n+2
The first 4 alkanes are methane, ethane, propane and butane.
Name Methane Ethane Propane Butane
Molecular CH4 C2H6 C3H8 C4H10
l formula
Ball and
Alkanes combust to give carbon dioxide and water
Alkane + oxygen ---> carbon dioxide + water
The balanced symbol equation for ethanol is as follows
CH4(g) + 2O2(g) --> 2H2O(l) + CO2(g)
Make sure that you remember state symbols.
Alkanes are pretty unreactive with most chemicals
They don't react with aqueous reagents.
They are unreactive because of the C-C and C-H bonds in them.

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Alcohols have an OH functional group
The general formula for alcohol is CnH2n+1OH
The first 2 alcohols are ethanol (C2H5OH) and methanol (CH3OH)
All alcohols have similar properties because of the OH group.…read more

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Similarities with other acids
They react with alkalis, carbonates and reactive metals much like any other
The salts formed by carboxylic acids end in anoate. For example methanoic
acid forms methanoate.
They react with metals to give a salt and hydrogen
e.g ethanoic acid + magnesium ---> magnesium ethanoate + hydrogen
2CH3COOH + Mg ---> Mg(CH3CO2)2 + H2
They react with alkalis to form a salt + water
e.…read more

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Esters have the functional group COO
They are formed by a reaction between an alcohol and a carboxylic acid.
It's called an esterification reaction
The word equation for this is
Alcohol + carboxylic acid ester + water
The formula for making an ester is already balanced as the oh moves to
create the water.
Uses of esters
Many esters have pleasant smells often sweet and fruity.…read more


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