CIE AS Chemistry (9701) exams from 2022

Revision Notes

3.4.1 Production of Alcohols

Production of Alcohols

  • Alcohols are compounds that contain at least one hydroxy (-OH) group
  • The general formula of alcohols is CnH2n+1OH
  • Alcohols can be prepared by a wide range of chemical reactions

Electrophilic addition of alkenes

  • When hot steam is reacted with an alkene, using concentrated phosphoric(VI) acid (H3PO4)as a catalyst, electrophilic addition takes place to form an alcohol

 

Hydroxy Compounds Electrophilic Addition, downloadable AS & A Level Chemistry revision notes

Electrophilic addition of steam to alkenes to form an alcohol

Oxidation of alkenes

  • Cold, dilute KMnO4 is a mild oxidising agent and oxidises alkenes
  • The C-C double bond is not fully broken and a diol is formed
    • A diol is a compound with two hydroxy, -OH, groups

 

Hydroxy Compounds Oxidation, downloadable AS & A Level Chemistry revision notes

Oxidation of alkenes using cold, dilute KMnO4 to form a diol

Nucleophilic substitution of halogenoalkanes

  • The halide atom in halogenoalkanes can be substituted when heated with aqueous NaOH in a nucleophilic substitution reaction

 

Hydroxy Compounds Nucleophilic Substitution, downloadable AS & A Level Chemistry revision notes

Nucleophilic substitution of halogenoalkanes using NaOH to form an alcohol

Reduction of aldehyde & ketones

  • Aldehydes and ketones can be reduced by reducing agents such as NaBH4 or LiAlH4 
  • Aldehydes are reduced to primary alcohols
    • The carbon attached to the hydroxy group is bonded to one other alkyl group
  • Ketones are reduced to secondary alcohols
    • The carbon attached to the hydroxy group is bonded to two other alkyl groups

 

Hydroxy Compounds Reduction, downloadable AS & A Level Chemistry revision notes

Reduction of aldehydes and ketones to form primary and secondary alcohols

Reduction of carboxylic acids

  • Similarly, carboxylic acids are reduced by NaBH4 or LiAlH4 to primary alcohols
  • Carboxylic acids can also be reduced by H2 using a nickel catalyst and heat

 

Hydroxy Compounds Reduction 2, downloadable AS & A Level Chemistry revision notes

Reduction of carboxylic acids to primary alcohols

Hydrolysis of ester

  • Esters are made by a condensation reaction between an alcohol and a carboxylic acid
  • When an ester is heated with dilute acid or alkali, hydrolysis will take place and the carboxylic acid and alcohol will be reformed

 

Hydroxy Compounds Hydrolysis, downloadable AS & A Level Chemistry revision notes

Hydrolysis of esters to form alcohols

Alcohol production reactions table

Hydroxy Compounds Table 1_Production of Alcohols, downloadable AS & A Level Chemistry revision notes

Exam Tip

The symbol [O] is used to represent oxygen provided by an oxidising agent.

Author: Francesca

Fran has taught A level Chemistry in the UK for over 10 years. As head of science, she used her passion for education to drive improvement for staff and students, supporting them to achieve their full potential. Fran has also co-written science textbooks and worked as an examiner for UK exam boards.
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