Chapter 4: Carbon and Its Compounds

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Carbon and Its Compound


How would you distinguish experimentally between an alcohol and a carboxylic acid?


(i) Litmus Test: Alcohol is a neutral solution and shows no change in litmus paper while carboxylic acid converts blue litmus paper to red.

(ii) Reaction with baking soda: Alcohol does not react with baking soda while carboxylic acid forms brisk effervescence due to the formation of carbon dioxide gas.

oldsymbol{mathbf{	extit{}}{color{Blue} NaHC{ O }_{ 3 }(s)+RCOOH(aq)
ightarrow RCOONa(aq)+C{ O }_{ 2 }(g)+{ H }_{ 2 }O(l)}}

(iii) Reaction with alkaline potassium permanganate: On heating, the mixture of alcohol and alkaline potassium permanganate, the pink color of the solution disappears due to the formation of carboxylic acid.

{color{Blue} oldsymbol{	extit{	extbf{}}R{ CH }_{ 2 }OH(aq)xrightarrow [ Delta ]{ Alk KMn{ O }_{ 4 } } RCOOH(aq)}}

Carboxylic acid will not react with alkaline potassium permanganate.

(iv) Reaction with sodium hydroxide: Alcohol will not react with sodium hydroxide. Carboxylic acid reacts with sodium hydroxide to form a salt of acid along with water.

{oldsymbol{	extbf{}{color{Blue} RCOOH(aq)+NaOH(aq)
ightarrow RCOONa(aq)+{ H }_{ 2 }O(l)}}}

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