Role of Alcohol in general chemistry
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Role of Alcohol in general chemistry

An alcohol is an organic compound wherein the hydroxyl functional group (–OH) is bound to a saturated carbon atom. For a compound to be an alcohol it must be an oxygen hydrogen group (-OH) or of a hydroxyl group. Alcohol is an organic compound that comes in numerous varied forms or structures. Alcohols can also be considered as organic derivative of water in where one of the hydrogen atoms has been substituted by an alkyl group.

Distinct groups of alcohols.


Methyl alcohol also known as methanol, has a boiling point of 65 degrees Celsius and is combustible. The chemical formula for methanol is CH3OH. Usages for methanol includes manufacturing formaldehyde and acetic acid that in turn is utilized in products like adhesives, foams, plywood subfloors, solvents and windshield washer fluid. It also used for production in gasolines, plastics, and coloring material. Ingestion of methanol is toxic and poisonous.


Ethanol or ethyl alcohol is the alcohol that is often used in drinks. Ethanol is also utilized as a fuel. It burns to form carbon dioxide and water. Ethanol is also used as supplementary product to perfumes and cosmetics. It is extensively used as a solvent and preservative in pharmaceutical industry besides for serving as the chief ingredient in beverages.


Propanol is a colorless liquid produced by oxidation of aliphatic hydrocarbons that is commonly used in solvents and chemical intermediates. It is made naturally in small quantities during the fermentation process. It is used as a solvent in the pharmaceuticals industry for resins and cellulose esters.


Glycerol that may also be known as glycerin is can be seen as a byproduct in the industrial production of soaps. Glycerol is also a trihydroxy sugar alcohol that is used as an intermediate in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. It is utilized as a solvent, emollient or soothing pharmaceutical agent and sweetening agent in perfumes which is not poisonous to humans. It can also be observed in medicines and various food products. It is dense in texture which tastes sweet.

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