What is Alcohol: Definition and 159 Discussions

In chemistry, alcohol is an organic compound that carries at least one hydroxyl functional group (−OH) bound to a saturated carbon atom. The term alcohol originally referred to the primary alcohol ethanol (ethyl alcohol), which is used as a drug and is the main alcohol present in alcoholic drinks. An important class of alcohols, of which methanol and ethanol are the simplest members, includes all compounds for which the general formula is CnH2n+1OH. Simple monoalcohols that are the subject of this article include primary (RCH2OH), secondary (R2CHOH) and tertiary (R3COH) alcohols.
The suffix -ol appears in the IUPAC chemical name of all substances where the hydroxyl group is the functional group with the highest priority. When a higher priority group is present in the compound, the prefix hydroxy- is used in its IUPAC name. The suffix -ol in non-IUPAC names (such as paracetamol or cholesterol) also typically indicates that the substance is an alcohol. However, many substances that contain hydroxyl functional groups (particularly sugars, such as glucose and sucrose) have names which include neither the suffix -ol, nor the prefix hydroxy-.

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  1. A

    Calculating time to reduce alcohol in wine using heating method

    Hi, This is my first post on PF. I am engaged in a project seeking to find a simple way to reduce ethanol content in wine for those wishing to minimize alcohol intake for health or personal reasons. The alcohol-reduced wine will be used for cooking. Seems heating would do the trick however, the...
  2. A

    Reusing Isopropyl Alcohol bottle for Drinking Water?

    Hello, I’m an electronics hobbyist, and fairly regularly buy isopropyl alcohol for cleaning with that, and to clean a vaporiser as well. I recently found my electronics store started carrying 5 litre bottles. They are strong, and the screw top thread, in particular, is substantial, so I thought...
  3. duchuy

    Chemistry Halogenation of an alcohol (iodation)

    I don't understand why in order to make RI from ROH, you'd have to use FINSKELSTEIN condition: ROH + PBR3 --> RBr RBr + NaI --> RI + NaBr and not directly ROH + PI3 --> RI Thank you so much for your help! Pardon me if my english is not correct. <mentor edit>
  4. K

    Ethanol (Alcohol) 75% and isopropyl alcohol (75%) - any difference?

    I was buying and studying the label on a bottle of alcohol spray and a bottle of liquid alcohol. Their ingredients were Ethanol(Alcohol) 75% and isopropyl alcohol(75%) respectively. Is there any difference?
  5. Lakkana

    Can isopropyl alcohol Blood clots soluble ?

    I have old cuts I put rubbing isopropyl alcohol on it, it cleaned slowly and vanish the blood clots, I would likes to know can isopropyl alcohol Blood clots soluble?
  6. .Scott

    Impact of alcohol and reduced cabin pressure on flights?

    In a recent news article, a Frontiers Airline passenger became very unruly after two alcoholic drinks. On an airline flight, the only ones instructed on the combined effects of alcohol and altitude are the cabin crew. This is what the FAA has to say to them: Since issues related to alcohol...
  7. ORF

    Why the alcohol thermometer is less precise than the mercury one?

    Hi, Why the alcohol thermometer is less precise than the mercury one? If I remember correctly, it is because the thermal expansion coefficient of alcohol is not constant, but I am not sure. Thank you for your time. Regards, ORF
  8. sagigever

    Experiment involving surface tension for water and alcohol

    I really have no idea how to approach this question, I was thinking write ##F=mg## but I am not sure if I can write that even though
  9. M

    Is isopropyl alcohol safe?

    I bought a can of soft drink and was wondering whether I should spray 100% isopropyl on it before putting my mouth on it to drink. I did spray and it smelt bad but I wiped it off and drank the can. Is that unsafe or is it the opposite, safer than drinking without spraying? Would it kill corona...
  10. L

    Chemistry Finding the mass of an aldehyde

    Aldehyde + H2 = alcohol Ethanal + H2 = ethanol This is all that I have done so far
  11. Wrichik Basu

    Efficacy of sanitizers against SARS-CoV-2 based on alcohol content

    Ethanol and 2-propanol (hereafter abbreviated "IPA") are the two alcohols that are used in hand-sanitizers. As per the standards set by WHO, the recommended levels are 80% (v/v) of ethanol and 75% (v/v) for IPA, along with other components like glycerol and hydrogen peroxide. Refer to the...
  12. H

    B How to dilute 91% alcohol to 70%?

    We have some 91% alcohol and I want to dilute it to 70% alcohol to disinfect for covid-19. Example: Have 6.7 ounces of 91% alcohol. How many ounces of water to add to get 70% alcohol? What is the math to do that using algebra so I can calculate it with various amounts of 91% alcohol?
  13. L

    Is Denatured Alcohol Safe for Use on Face Masks?

    I know that medical facilities will use denatured alcohol to sanitize counters, sinks, etc. But can you use it to sanitize something that will be worn over the face? Do the fumes evaporate at all or do they stay present? Thanks much
  14. kyphysics

    Why Doesn't Alcohol Just Evaporate when Cleaning Wipes are Left "Open"?

    When shopping at grocery stores, they have these boxes of sanitizing wipes containing alcohol on them. You know the type: they are often in the front entrance area for people to wipe carts. The way these are designed is that you have one wipe sticking out of the container and the rest tucked...
  15. ValeForce46

    Is the balance of forces equation correct for a tube immersed in alcohol?

    This is a problem from a past exam. For point a) the balance between force should be given by the following equation $$M*g+p_0*A=ρ*g*(A*d)+p*A$$ But I still have two unknown values... I know that pressure outside the tube at depth d is $$p(d)=p_0+ρ*g*d$$ and this has to be equal to the...
  16. K

    Is it safe to use 75% Alcohol with PP and other plastic-made container

    Is it safe to use 75% Alcohol (Isopropyl) with PP and other plastic made container commonly found in the consumer market for cleaning? Could there be any reaction and release toxic / harmful gases or materials? I once studied Chemistry but left school for decades
  17. B

    Alcohol consumption and C-vitamin

    Hi! Lets say I consume some alcoholic beverages and would at the same time drink some C-vitamin powder (ascorbic acid) dissolved in water. Would the intake of C-vitamin be able to prevent the harmful effects of alcohol on my body?
  18. NCBryan

    How can 10% ethonal gas produce 73% alcohol? (with water)

    I purchased 22.752 gallons of gasoline containing +- 10% ethanol dispensing it into a 23 gallon gas tank. Then I drove 23 miles (mostly up hill) to a job site. At lunch time I was not able to crank the engine. The symptoms were clear, it was water in the gas. I have a video if you want to see...
  19. navneet9431

    NaOH vs C2H5OH: Reason for Disassociation

    If we put NaOH in water then it disassociates into ##OH^{-}## ions(hydroxyl ions) but if we put ##C_2H_5OH## in water it does not disassociates into ##OH^{-}## ions. What is the reason that ##NaOH## disassociates into ##OH^{-}## ions(hydroxyl ions) whereas ##C_2H_5OH## does not disassociate...
  20. jedishrfu

    A Good Time to Swear Off Alcohol

    In this article, new research suggests a clear connection between the ability to digest Alcohol and DNA damage done to your stem cells: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/jan/03/alcohol-can-cause-irreversible-genetic-damage-to-stem-cells-says-study Many who suffer from Asian Flush...
  21. C

    Solubility of Calcium Oxalate in an Alcohol Solution?

    In searching through the literature for the solubility of calcium oxalate, I came across this post https://www.researchgate.net/post/Are_there_any_organic_inorganic_solvents_for_dissolving_Ca-oxalate I am not sure where the people answering this question have gotten the information that calcium...
  22. alphaj

    Chemistry ORGO: What does it mean when a molecule is 'quenched?'

    Homework Statement n/a Homework Equations n/a The Attempt at a Solution n/a Just a question. I keep seeing that in SN2 reactions, sometimes a molecule is quenched by H2O or H3O. I've seen it turn an O- into an OH and also a heteroatom into an H. What exactly is going on here?
  23. C

    Just for interests sake, on a Saturday night

    Why is there an excess of foam when I add ice to rum and coke? When I add ice to vodka and sprite/lemonade there is a short burst of foam which quickly dissipates. What causes the reactions to differ? Sugar?
  24. T

    If light travels for 3.0ns in ethyl alcohol, how much furthe

    Ratio is 1.10 for part 1. 1. Determine the ratio for the speed of light in ethyl alcohol (n=1.36) to the speed of light in benzene (n=1.50). 2. If light travels for 3.0ns in ethyl alcohol, how much further will it travel in this material than it would in benzene? answer will be in terms of...
  25. pixie_elle

    Can mixing Vitamin C and alcohol have negative effects?

    I had 2 caps of 500mg ascorbic vit C and in just about 10mins or so I took out a bottle of 6% alcoholic beverage from the fridge and almost halfway I realized I might be doin' somethin' wrong?
  26. V

    Dehydration Problem: Solving for the Location of a Double Bond in a Carbocation

    Homework Statement Please see question number 31 http://cms.fiitjee.co/Resources/DownloadCentre/Document_Pdf_183.pdf Homework Equations none The Attempt at a Solution i got up to second step in the solution(scroll downwards) but in the last step a carbocation is formed and double bond can...
  27. Conservation

    Interesting compounds with alcohol functional group

    I'm looking for examples of some interesting compounds that contain alcohol functional group (please, no joke suggestions about various liquor). Bonus points for creativity/thinking-outside-the-box. Thanks.
  28. M

    Silica gel &sodium polyacrylate: absorb/adsorb alcohol, etc?

    Does silica gel adsorb alcohol? Does it adsorb isopropyl alcohol? or Ethyl alcohol? Does silica gel adsorb anything other than water? Does sodium polyacrylate absorb alcohol? What type of alcohol, ethyl alcohol? Isopropyl alcohol? Does sodium polyacrylate absorb anything other than water?
  29. J

    Can you get rid of alcohol in water (without keeping it)?

    Hello. My name is Jack. New member to the forums. Nice to meet you all! I have a general question that is part of a project I am working on for graduate school. I'm looking to distill water through solar energy in a closed solar still and am in a pickle finding a way to prevent alcohol from...
  30. Hithesh

    Phenol: Is it an Alcohol?

    Does phenol belong to alcohols?
  31. T

    Flexible material that quickly dissolves in rubbing alcohol

    Hello! I'm looking for a substance that can: (1) be turned into a flexible material (e.g., a flexible plastic), (2) is dissolveable in rubbing alcohol but not water (or blood), and (3) safe for a medical procedure ... And, if possible, preferably biodegradable... I know that's kind of a...
  32. alr1014

    Would rubbing alcohol and vinegar neutralize each other?

    I was reading a post on Facebook about cleaning and it said to mix rubbing alcohol and vinegar and put it in your windown washer fluid tank. Someone commented that it would corrode or eat away at the tubing. I keep thinking the mixture would be an acid /base mixture and would neutralize. I was...
  33. M

    How do I extract melissyl alcohol from rice bran wax?

    How do I extract triacontanol (melissyl alcohol) from rice bran wax? I have very little knowledge in chemistry, but can do basic procedures. I don't have a laboratory, just a kitchen. Is it an alcohol? Like, same as ethanol alcohol? Does that mean I can mix rice bran wax with ethanol and...
  34. L

    Is there alcohol in apple cider vinegar

    I have searched here and a number of places online but I can't find an answer. Is there alcohol in Bragg's apple cider vinegar? I always get a strange slightly calm feeling after drinking two or three tablespoons in a big glass of water. But I can't imagine how there could be any alcohol in it...
  35. mnmman

    Where is the alcohol peak on 5-iodovanillin?

    So I'm pretty sure I got 5-iodovanillin. The melting point in the literature is 183-185 C and I got 182.7-183.5 C. But my NMR spectrum isn't showing the alcohol peak. It barely shows up on the SDBS spectrum also (http://sdbs.db.aist.go.jp/sdbs/cgi-bin/direct_frame_top.cgi). Does anybody know why...
  36. A

    How are food flavors made?

    I'm curious, in many flavors used in food (such as vanilla extract and other "natural flavors"), ethanol is used as a solvent to extract the flavors. Is this ethanol synthetic ethanol, or do companies normally get it from the wine/beer industries?
  37. E

    Can Ammonium Bicarbonate 'salt out' ethanol alcohol?

    I'm testing Ammonium Bicarbonate in a fermentation process. Is it possible for Ammonium Bicarbonate to 'salt out' Ethanol? Compounds such as Sodium Carbonate and Ammonium Sulfate are able to salt out ethanol.
  38. M

    Question about alcohol protonation

    Hey, so I saw in my book that it used H2SO4 reacted with an alcohol to protonate it ( makes sense). But sometimes it uses diluted H2SO4 in warm and other times it will be H2SO4 in heat. I was just wondering, what difference do reaction hold? What seems odd is that water is formed anyway in the...
  39. jim hardy

    Does Benzidine polymerize in presence of alcohol?

    This is a hobbyist question, i hope you'll entertain it. Have a laugh on me, guys. One of my psychological quirks is i just hate to see a nice piece of machinery junked. I try to rescue too many of them. Runs in the family, my Grandmother rescued stray dogs. ...I found my laser level has...
  40. S

    In a barometer, if we replaced the mercury with alcohol and water?

    In a barometer, assuming bernoulie properties(incompressible fluid) if we replaced the mercury with alcohol and water why would the alcohol be able to be displaced further with pressure. It has a lower density that water 800kg/m^3 than water which has 1000kg/m3. What chemical properties or...
  41. B

    What Happens to Alcohol When it Evaporates?

    So, let's say you have either a bottle of rubbing alcohol (isopropyl) or a bottle of drinking alcohol (ethanol) and you leave it in the open air for a day or two (or however long it takes for it to evaporate). What happens when the alcohol evaporates into the air? Supposedly, the alcohol from...
  42. E

    Neutralizing Alcohol in Drinks: Is it Possible?

    This question is about neutralising alcohol in the bottle, not in the body or an attempt to get rid of a hangover. So is it possible to turn an alcoholic beverage such as wine or beer into a light or non-alcoholic version by adding the appropriate chemicals and waiting for the reaction to...
  43. O

    Stove from can, alcohol and steelwool

    Hello. I saw some video when a man made primitive stove from can, rubbing alcohol and steelwool. He modifed the can and take onto steelwool and rubbing alcohol, made some holes to can and he lighted it. However, I have some question. Why he used rubbing alcohol and steelwool? Why steelwool...
  44. K

    Understanding the Chemical Structure: 3-methylhex-5-en-1-ol and Its Properties

    Hi, I am not too sure of the name of an alcohol that I am trying to work out. CH2=CH CH2 CH (CH3) CH2 CH2 OH The name I came up with was 3-methylhex-5-en-1-ol But I can not seem to get confirmation by looking it up on google, thus making me think I am wrong. Any help will be...
  45. 256bits

    What are the potential risks of snorting powdered alcohol?

    Now, this is new. http://www.theverge.com/2014/4/20/5634132/us-regulators-approve-powdered-alcohol Approved, then un-approved ( when the Palcohol wore off ). What were they thinking!
  46. R

    Can Alcoholic Beverages Hydrate You?

    I'm curious if alcoholic beverages can be used to provide hydration. I've read that alcohol can induce the body to lose more water than is gained (For example beer is 95% water). However, if you have no potable water can alcoholic beverage substitute for water ? Does it depend on the percentage...
  47. mishima

    Alcohol gel cooled with dry ice

    Hi I tried cooling down some 91% isopropyl alcohol with dry ice. After a few minutes, the alcohol became a thick gel. I am wondering what is going on there, thanks.
  48. P

    Converting a secondary alkyl halide into a secondary alcohol

    I was reviewing for the MCAT and one of the examples given for converting a secondary alkyl halide into an alcohol was: R2H-Br -> R2H-OH 1. RCO2- 2. OH- In terms of the mechanism, what is the role of RCO2-?
  49. z.js

    Does my alcohol burner have a problem?

    I have an alcohol burner running on methylated spirits(C2H6O) and Wikipedia says that ethanol burns with a blue flame. Why does my burner burn with a orange-yellow flame? and it burns the wick a little as well. :confused:
  50. T

    How to reduce volume while retaining alcohol.

    Hi I'm new but I figured, this is a good place to start. Suppose I had a bottle of beer, and I wanted to somehow make that bottle of beer a little more easy to transport. Is there a way of getting the water out while retaining the alcohol so that upon adding good clean water back into a much...