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Making the Transition to University Chemistry

Making the Transition to University Chemistry

Michael Clugston, Malcolm Stewart, and Fabrice Birembaut
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date: 24 June 2024

p. 192 Chapter 21 Alcoholslocked

p. 192 Chapter 21 Alcoholslocked

  • Michael Clugston, Michael Clugstonformerly Tonbridge School
  • Malcolm StewartMalcolm StewartUniversity of Oxford
  •  and Fabrice BirembautFabrice BirembautCaen, France


This chapter focuses on alcohols (ROH) which have at least one hydroxyl group bonded to a carbon atom. Alcohols are known to undergo two reactions similar to the reactions of halogenoalkanes. Additionally, esters are formed through an alcohol's reaction to carboxylic acids. Alcohols also undergo oxidation reactions. The chapter explores the main manufacturing processes for ethanol which are fermentation and the direct hydration of ethene. It also considers the nucleophilic substitution and oxidation reactions of alcohols. The elimination reactions coincide with alcohol being dehydrated through heating with acid. However, conditions depend on the specific alcohol involved in the process as some of the alcohols could produce more than a single product.

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