Alcohols and carboxylic acids

In this chapter you will learn:

  1. What is Alcohol?

  2. What is Ethanol?

  3. What is Carboxylic acid?


Alcohol molecules contain the –OH functional group.

Methanol, ethanol, propanol and butanol are the first four members of a homologous series of alcohols.


Ethanol is the form of alcohol found in beer, wine and liquor.

Hydrogen gas is produced when sodium reacts with ethanol.

Ethanol is made from biomass such as corn or sugarcane by fermentation.

Ethanol is also used as a fuel for car and other vehicles.

Ethanol can be produced by fermentation processes.

Fermentation is an anaerobic process including a series of chemical reactions.

Yeast, a type of single-celled fungus, is used for fermentation.

Carboxylic acid

Carboxylic acid is an organic compound that contains a -COOH group.

The carboxylic acids form a homologous series with functional group: –COOH.

The first three carboxylic acids are: methanoic acid, ethanoic acid and propanoic acid.

Carboxylic acids are soluble in water.

Carboxylic acids are able to form hydrogen bonds with water molecules.

Carboxylic acids have high boiling points.

Carboxylic acids are used in pharmaceuticals and the production of soft drinks.