Ethyl alcohol is a clear, colorless liquid with a characteristic odor. Its density is about 0.8 grams per cubic centimeter.
And what is the chemical formula of ethyl alcohol?
Ethanol ("ethanol" according to the internationalChemical classification) is widely used in medicine, as a disinfectant, as well as in some industries as a solvent, fuel, a component of antifreeze. In addition, ethanol is the main active ingredient of alcoholic beverages.
Why is the structural formula of ethanol insufficiently accurate
The formula of any chemical shouldContain information about how many and what atoms are contained in its molecule. Ethyl alcohol consists of three elements: carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O). Each ethanol molecule includes 2 carbon atoms, 6 hydrogen atoms and 1 oxygen atom. Consequently, the empirical (simplest) formula of this chemical compound is written in this way: C2H6O. It would seem that this is quite enough.
However, the use of empiricalFormula can lead to an error. The fact is that exactly the same formula C2H6O applies to another substance - dimethyl ether, which is under normal conditions in a gaseous state, and not in a liquid like ethanol. And, of course, the chemical properties of this substance also differ from the properties of ethyl alcohol.
Therefore, it is impossible to use an empirical formula alone to describe ethyl alcohol.
What is the structural formula of ethanol
In such cases, more accurateStructural formulas that contain information not only about the number and type of atoms of elements in a molecule, but also about their location, mutual relations. The structural formula of ethanol is: C2H5OH or even more precisely - CH3-CH2-OH. This formula indicates that the ethanol molecule consists of two main parts: the ethyl radical C2H5 and the hydroxyl radical (it is often called the hydroxyl group) OH.
Using the structural formula, we can concludeOn the chemical properties of the substance due to the presence in its composition of a very active hydroxyl group, toward which, due to the oxygen atom, the second in electronegativity (after the fluorine) element, the electron density of the molecule is shifted.
For comparison, the structural formula of the dimethyl ester CH3-O-CH3 mentioned above. That is, it is a symmetrical molecule.
The formula C2H5OH is very simple and is usually remembered very easily, it reads "Tse two ash five about ash."