C3.6 Organic chemistry
Alcohols and carboxylic acids are important organic chemicals that have many uses.
Alcohols react with carboxylic acids to produce esters.
Candidates should use their skills, knowledge and understanding to:
■ represent the structures of alcohols and carboxylic acids in the following forms:
■ evaluate the social and economic advantages and disadvantages of the uses of alcohols, carboxylic acids and esters.
Assessment and practical opportunities
■ investigation of the reactions of ethanol
■ comparison of properties of ethanol with water
■ oxidation of ethanol using aqueous potassium dichromate
■ design and carry out an investigation of the oxidation of dilute solutions of ethanol (eg wine or beer) by exposing to the air for several days
■ comparison of the reactions of methanol, ethanol and propanol
■ investigation of the reactions of ethanoic acid
■ distinguishing between samples of ethanol, ethanoic acid and ethyl ethanoate using simple chemical tests
■ preparation of ethyl ethanoate using ethanol and ethanoic acid with sulfuric acid as a catalyst. Recognise the ester by smell after neutralising the acid with sodium hydrogencarbonate
■ add drops of esters to water to smell more effectively.