Alcohols and ethers: physical properties

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Boiling points


  • Van der Waals forces are broken when alkanals boil whereas hydrogen bonds are broken when alkanols boil
  • Alcohols therefor have a higher boiling point as the strength of hydrogen bonds is greater than that of van der Waals
  • When the chain length of an alkane increases the boiling point increases due to the increase in the strength of van der Waals forces
    • This is because a temporary dipole is created by the momentary imbalance in the distribution of electrons in the molecule which induces a dipole between molecules
    • This only…


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