Alcohols and phenols


Alcohols and phenols are two classes of organic compounds that contain a hydroxyl (-OH) group attached to a carbon atom. The hydroxyl group is polar and can form hydrogen bonds, making alcohols and phenols highly soluble in water and other polar solvents.

Alcohols are organic compounds that contain one or more hydroxyl groups (-OH) attached to a carbon atom. They are classified as primary (1°), secondary (2°), or tertiary (3°) depending on whether the carbon atom attached to the hydroxyl group is bonded to one, two, or three other carbon atoms, respectively.

Phenols, on the other hand, are a special class of aromatic compounds that contain a hydroxyl group directly attached to an aromatic ring. They are often more acidic than alcohols due to the stabilizing effect of the aromatic ring on the negative charge that is formed upon deprotonation of the hydroxyl group.

Both alcohols and phenols have a wide range of applications in industry, medicine, and daily life. For example, ethanol is used as a fuel, solvent, and disinfectant, while phenol is used in the production of plastics, pharmaceuticals, and dyes.