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Reaction of Alcohol Lab

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Name: Teacher: Date: October 16, 2010 Purpose: To test the theories of how the molecular structure of an organic molecule affects its properties and determine the different isomers of butanol through comparison of their reactions with distilled water, Lucas Reagent and Potassium Permanganate. Materials: - Unknown butanol isomers A, B, C, D - Pipettes - Distilled water - Lucas Reagent (conc. HCl + ZnCl2) - Potassium Permanganate (KMnO4) - pH probe/ pH paper - Test tubes (4) - Test tube rack - Rubber stoppers (4) - Goggles - 10-mL measuring cylinder - 25-mL measuring cylinder Flowchart: Prediction: Distilled Water Lucas Reagent Distilled Water & KMnO4 n-butanol Lowest solubility; mixture should be heterogeneous Takes much longer than 5min to turn cloudy Colour changes; pH should turn acidic, since it becomes an aldehyde and then a carboxylic acid i-butanol 2nd lowest ...read more.


- Remains purple - No reaction B Solution Colourless Transparent Rubbing alcohol scent - Heterogeneous solution with opaque solution suspended between clear solution; 1:2 ratio - Rubbing alcohol scent - 2nd highest solubility among the 4 isomers - Forms precipitate a few minutes later - Clear solution with yellowish-brown colour after heating - Smoke smell - Changes to brown colour - On pH paper, it turns to green (pH value:7) - Neutral C Solution Colourless Transparent Rubbing alcohol scent - Forms 2 layers; opaque layer on top, and transparent layer at the bottom; 1:1 ratio - Rubbing alcohol scent - Lowest solubility among the 4 isomers - Clear solution - Opaque white colour after heating - Burnt smell - Changes to brown colour - On pH paper, it turns to orange (pH value: 3) ...read more.


From the results of Lucas Reagent, we can also conclude that A is t-butanol, since the reaction happened immediately. B can be concluded as s-butanol, since the reaction happened after a few minutes. However, both C and D had no reaction, so they are the primary alcohols i-butanol and n-butanol. However, it's still not clear as to what C and D are. Distilled water helps measure the solubility of the isomers. With isomeric alcohols, the solubility increases with branching because more branching makes the isomer more polar. Isomer C is more soluble than isomer D, so it's more polar and has more branching than D. Isobutanol has more branches and is more polar than n-butanol, so C is i-butanol, while D is n-butanol. Conclusion: Butanol A is t-butanol, Butanol B is s-butanol, Butanol C is i-butanol, Butanol D is n-butanol. ?? ?? ?? ?? 2 | Page ...read more.

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Awarded 5 stars for excellent scientific knowledge and well planned out methods. Great detailed predictions at the start and clear analysis of the results. Only one improvement would be to add in some background knowledge about alcohols - primary, secondary and tertiary.

Marked by teacher Patricia McHugh 01/12/2012

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