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Carbon and Its Compound
How can ethanol and ethanoic acid be differentiated on the basis of their physical and chemical properties?
Physical properties of ethanol and ethanoic acid:
Ethanol is a liquid at room temperature that has a pleasant odour. Its melting point is -114.1⁰C while its boiling point is 78.37⁰C.
Ethanoic acid is liquid at room temperature and it often freezes at low temperatures. Its melting point and boiling point are 16.6⁰C and 118⁰C respectively. It has a strong vinegar-like odour.
Chemical properties of ethanol and ethanoic acid:
(i) Litmus Test: Ethanol is a neutral solution and shows no change in litmus paper while ethanoic acid converts blue litmus paper to red.
(ii) Reaction with baking soda: Ethanol does not react with baking soda while ethanoic acid forms brisk effervescence due to the formation of carbon dioxide gas.
(iii) Reaction with alkaline potassium permanganate: On heating, the mixture of ethanol and alkaline potassium permanganate, the pink color of the solution disappears due to the formation of ethanoic acid.
Ethanoic acid will not react with alkaline potassium permanganate.
(iv) Reaction with sodium hydroxide: Ethanol will not react with sodium hydroxide. Ethanoic acid reacts with sodium hydroxide to form a salt of sodium acetate along with water.
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