From National 5 we know the basic alcohols. These are methanol, ethanol, propanol, butanol, pentanol, hexanol, heptanol and octanol, with ethanol being the most widely used (I.E. Being used for cleaning, drinks, disinfectants etc...)
In Higher we learn that this group is actually called the Alkanols as they are a straight chain with a hydroxyl group replacing a hydrogen. The name (and structure) is basically a reference to the Alkanes but with the E replaced with a ol.
Certain alcohols have a branching stem, similar to the ones seen in Alkanes and Alkenes, where they can have different effects based on this. This is noted the same way as with the aformentioned families.
NOTE: The hydroxyl group ALWAYS takes priority over any path, so if you are reading a molecule, make sure that you note on what position the hydroxyl is on first before anything else.
Primary, Secondary and Tertiary:
A Primary alcohol is an alcohol/alkanol where the hydroxyl is connected to a carbon which is connected to ONE other carbon.
A Secondary alcohol is the same, except with 2 carbons attached to hydroxyl group.
And believe it or not, a Tertiary alcohol is the same as the aforementioned pair, but with a THIRD carbon also…