Alcohols

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Primary Alcohols

- The -OH is bonded to a carbon that's only bonded to one other carbon

- General formula: RCH2OH

- With excess alcohol and distillation, primary alcohols are oxidised and form aldehydes

- With excess oxidising agent and heating under reflux, primary alcohols are oxidised and form carboxylic acids

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Secondary Alchols

- The -OH is bonded to a carbon atom that's bonded to two other carbons

- General formula: RCH(OH)R

- Oxidised to form ketones- heated under reflux

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Tertiary Alchols

- The -OH is bonded to carbon that's bonded to three other carbons

- General formula: R2C(OH)R

- Tertiary alcohols can't be oxidised

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General oxidation of alchols

- The -OH group can be oxidised by strong oxidising agents, like acidified potassium dichromate(VI) solution. 

- Potassium dichromate(VI) solution changes from an orange colour to a green colour when it's been reduced

- The -OH is oxidised and is converted into a carbonyl group (C=O)

- Two atoms of hydrogen are removed- one from the -OH and one from the carbon that the -OH is bonded to

- Oxidation of the -OH won't happen unless there is a hydrogen attached to the carbon that the -OH is bonded to

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