3. Answer in brief.

iii. Write two points of difference between properties of phenol and ethyl alcohol.


Phenol and ethyl alcohol (ethanol) are two different organic compounds with distinct properties. Here are two key points of difference between their properties:

  1. Chemical Nature and Reactivity:

    • Phenol is an aromatic compound containing a benzene ring with a hydroxyl (-OH) group attached to it. It has a more reactive and acidic hydroxyl group compared to ethanol. Phenol can undergo electrophilic aromatic substitution reactions due to the presence of the aromatic ring. It can also readily donate a proton (H+) to act as an acid in various reactions.
    • Ethyl alcohol (ethanol) is an aliphatic alcohol with a straight-chain structure and a hydroxyl (-OH) group at the end of the carbon chain. It is less reactive than phenol and does not undergo electrophilic aromatic substitution reactions. Ethanol primarily participates in reactions typical of alcohols, such as oxidation to form acetaldehyde or reduction to form ethyl ether. It is often used as a solvent and is a common beverage alcohol.
  2. Toxicity and Uses:

    • Phenol is toxic and corrosive to the skin and mucous membranes. It has industrial uses as a disinfectant, antiseptic, and in the production of various chemicals, plastics, and pharmaceuticals. Due to its toxicity, it must be handled with care.
    • Ethyl alcohol (ethanol) is less toxic than phenol and is commonly used in alcoholic beverages, including beer, wine, and spirits, where it is consumed in moderate quantities. It is also used as a solvent, fuel, and in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. Ethanol is generally safe for human consumption in moderate amounts but can be harmful or even lethal in excessive quantities.

These differences in chemical nature, reactivity, toxicity, and uses highlight the distinct properties of phenol and ethyl alcohol.