Alcohol Reactions, Phenol Reactions - Organic Chemistry

In this video we go through the 7 Must-Know Reactions of Alcohols and 5 Must-Know Reactions of Phenols.

Must-Know Alcohol Reaction

1. Elimination or dehydration of alcohol to form alkene using concentrated sulphuric acid at 170 degree celsius or aluminium oxide, heat.

elimination of alcohol to form alkene

2. Nucleophilic substitution of alcohol to form chloroalkane using anhydrous PCl5 or SOCl2 at room temperature

nucleophilic substitution of alcohol to form chloroalkane

3. Nucleophilic substitution of alcohol to form bromoalkane using PBr3 or HBr, warm

nucleophilic substitution of alcohol to form bromoalkane

4. Oxidation of primary alcohol to form carboxylic acid using KMnO4 or K2Cr2O7 in dilute H2SO4, heat or reflux. Secondary alcohols will be oxidised to ketones under these reagents and conditions.

oxidation of alcohols to form acids or ketones

5. Mild oxidation of primary alcohol to form aldehyde using K2Cr2O7 in dilute H2SO4, reflux with immediate distillation

mild oxidation of primary alcohol to form aldehyde

6. Neutralisation of alcohol to form alkoxide using sodium metal at room temperature

alcohol 6 neutralisation

7. Tri-iodomethane test of some alcohols with iodine in aqueous sodium hydroxide, warm, to give yellow precipitate

tri-iodomethane test for alcohol to give yellow ppt

Must-Know Phenol Reaction

1. Neutralisation of phenol to form phenoxide using sodium metal or aqueous sodium hydroxide at room temperature

 neutralisation of phenol to form phenoxide

2. Electrophilic substitution of phenol with bromine in organic solvent at room temperature to form 2-bromophenol and 4-bromophenol

electrophilic substitution of phenol to form 2-bromophenol or 4-bromophenol 

3. Electrophilic substitution of phenol with aqueous bromine at room temperature to form 2,4,6-tribromophenol

electrophilic substitution of phenol to form 2,4,6-tribromophenol

4. Electrophilic substitution of phenol with dilute nitric acid at 20 degree celsius to form 2-nitrophenol and 4-nitrophenol

electrophilic substitution of phenol to form 2-nitrophenol or 4-nitrophenol

5. Electrophilic substitution of phenol with concentrated nitric acid in concentrated sulphuric acid at 50 degree celsius to form 2,4,6-trinitrophenol

electrophilic substitution of phenol to form 2,4,6-trinitrophenol

Memorising the reagents and conditions for these alcohol reactions is an integral part of Organic Chemistry, so I've added 2 short memory tests.

Let's see if you can remember all of them!

Topic: Alcohols, Organic Chemistry, A Level Chemistry, Singapore

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