Beer and fodder crop has been deteriorating for 6,000 years

The diversity of the crop Sorghum, a cereal used to make alcoholic drinks, has been decreasing over time due to agricultural practice. To maintain the diversity of the crop and keep it growing farmers will need to revise ...

Partners in catalysis: An efficient route to unsaturated ketones

In organic chemistry, discovering new reactions is one thing, but to carry them off efficiently is quite another. Carbon-carbon bond-forming is at the heart of organic synthesis, allowing us to stitch together diverse functional ...

Researchers advance biomass transformation process

Biomass can serve as a renewable source for both energy and carbon. Acetone, n-butanol, and ethanol (ABE) fermentation broth as a biomass-derived source of fuels and chemicals has received a lot of attention for several decades. ...

Alcohols as carbon radical precursors

Alcohols play a pivotal role in organic synthesis because they are ubiquitous and can be used in a variety of well-established transformations. However, in C-C bond formation reactions, despite being central to organic synthesis, ...

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In chemistry, an alcohol is any organic compound in which a hydroxyl group (-OH) is bound to a carbon atom of an alkyl or substituted alkyl group. The general formula for a simple acyclic alcohol is CnH2n+1OH. In common terms, the word alcohol refers to ethanol, the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages.

Ethanol is a colorless, volatile liquid with a mild odor which can be obtained by the fermentation of sugars. (Industrially, it is more commonly obtained by ethylene hydration—the reaction of ethylene with water in the presence of phosphoric acid.) Ethanol is the most widely used depressant in the world, and has been for thousands of years. This sense underlies the term alcoholism (addiction to alcohol).

Other alcohols are usually described with a clarifying adjective, as in isopropyl alcohol (propan-2-ol) or wood alcohol (methyl alcohol, or methanol). The suffix -ol appears in the IUPAC chemical name of all alcohols.[citation needed]

There are three major subsets of alcohols: primary (1°), secondary (2°) and tertiary (3°), based upon the number of carbon atoms the C-OH group's carbon (shown in red) is bonded to. Ethanol is a simple 'primary' alcohol. The simplest secondary alcohol is isopropyl alcohol (propan-2-ol), and a simple tertiary alcohol is tert-butyl alcohol (2-methylpropan-2-ol).

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