Question
Sat February 09, 2013 By:

list 3 physical and 2 chemical properties on the basis of which ethanol and ethanoic acid can be differenciated.

Expert Reply
Sat February 09, 2013

1. Ethanoic Acid has a pungent smell, while ethanol has a comparatively pleasant and a sweet smell.

2. Ethanoic acid has -COOH functional group, while ethanol has -OH.

3. Ethanoic acids molecular forumla is CH3COOH , mw of 120(as it dimerises) , b.p is 118.

Molecular formula of ethanol is C2H5OH, mw 46, liquid at room temperature (b.p 78 degree celsius)

Chemical Properties:

1) Blue litmus test
This will turn red in the ethanoic acid, simply because it is an acid and forms H+ ions in solution. The ethanol wont effect the blue paper. 

2) Reaction with sodium bicarbonate
The ethanoic acid will react to evolve a colourless and odourless gas (CO2). 

3) Sodium metal test
They will both react with sodium; the alcohol (ethanol) will produce an alkoxide (sodium ethoxide) and release hydrogen gas, and the ethanoic acid will undergo the normal "acid + reactive metal" reaction, producing hydrogen gas and dissolving the sodium. I think the reaction with the acid will be the more vigorous one.

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