- Properties of Ethanol
- Reactions of Ethanol: Reaction with sodium, Reaction to give unsaturated hydrocarbon
- Effects of alcohol on living beings
PROPERTIES OF ETHANOL:-
Ethanol is a liquid at room temperature
good solvent with low boiling point
Colourless, pleasent smell, burning tastea
used in medicines such as tincture iodine
soluble in water
intake of even a small quantity of pure
ethanol (called absolute alcohol) can be lethal
CHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF ETHANOL:-
(i) Reaction with sodium –
2Na + 2CH3CH2OH → 2CH3CH2O–Na+ + H2
Alcohols react with sodium leading to the evolution of hydrogen. With ethanol, the other product is sodium ethoxide.
(ii) Reaction to give unsaturated hydrocarbon: Heating ethanol at 443 K with excess concentrated sulphuric acid results in the dehydration of ethanol to give ethane.
The concentrated sulphuric acid can be regarded as a dehydrating agent which removes water from ethanol.
EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL ON LIVING BEINGS:-
When large quantities of ethanol are consumed, it tends to slow metabolic processes and to depress the central nervous system. This results in lack of coordination, mental confusion, drowsiness, lowering of the normal
inhibitions, and finally stupor. The individual may feel relaxed without realising that his sense of judgement, sense of timing, and muscular coordination have been seriously impaired. Unlike ethanol, intake of methanol in very small quantities can cause death. Methanol is oxidised to methanal in the liver. Methanal reacts rapidly with the components of cells. It coagulates the protoplasm, in much the same way an egg is coagulated by
cooking. Methanol also affects the optic nerve, causing blindness. Ethanol is an important industrial solvent. To prevent the misuse of ethanol produced for industrial use, it is made unfit for drinking by adding poisonous substances like methanol to it. Dyes are also added to colour the alcohol blue so that it can be identified easily. This is called denatured alcohol.