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Write Chemical Test to Distinguish Between Carbolic Acid and Alcohol. - Chemistry

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Write chemical test to distinguish between carbolic acid and alcohol.

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Solution

Action of neutral ferric chloride (FeCl3) is a distinguishing test (colour test) between phenol and an alcohol.
1. Action on phenol: When phenol is treated with aqueous neutral FeCl3, it gives red to violet colouration. The colour obtained is due to the formation of violet
coloured ferric phenoxide complex.

2. Action on alcohol: When an alcohol (eg. ethanol) is treated with aqueous neutral FeCl3, it does not give any colouration.
Ethanol + aq./neutral FeCl3 → No colouration

Concept: Phenols - Physical and Chemical Properties
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