Alcohols, Carboxylic Acids and Esters

Brief overview in some detail on organic chemistry 

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  • Alcohols have an OH functional group and end in OL
  • Methanol and ethanol are the two popular alchohols used in exams.
  • Alcohols are used as solvent and fuels in manufacturing.
  • Alchohols react with sodium.
  • Sudium metal reacts gently with ethanol to produce sodium ethoxide and hydrogen.

Sodium + Ethanol ---> Sodium ethoxide + Water

  • Sodium metal reacts much more vigourously with water - even meltiing due to the heat in the reaction.

Sodium + Water ---> Sodium hydroxide + Hydrogen

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Carboxylic Acids

  • Carboxylic Acids have a -COOH functional group.
  • the functional groups give them all simalar properties.
  • thier names end in '...anoic acid' 
  • Methanoic Acid
  • Ethanoic Acid

Carboxylic acids react like other acids.... react with Alkalis, Carbonates and Reactive metals just like any other acid.

salts formed in reactions end in 'Anoate' 

e.g. Magnesium + Ethanoic Acid ---> Magnesium ethanoate + Hydrogen

carboxylic acids stink...have strong smells and tastes. if wine or beer is left out in the open, it will be oxidised by the oxygen in the air and turn into Ethanoic acid.

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  • Esters are another family of organic chemicals. they have a functional group '-COO-'  

they are formed from an Acohol and a Carboxylic acid. 
Alcohol + Carboxylic Acid <=> Ester + Water

  • Esters are often used in flavourings and perfumes. They smell fruity and sweet, generally have nice fragrances, Volatile.
  • Fats and oils are esters of glycerol and fatty acids.  Fatty acids are long chains of carboxylic acids they have between 16 and 20 carbon atoms. Fatty acids can be saturated.
  • Plants and animals make oils and fats to store energy.
  • Can be used as plasticisers .

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