Naming Alcohols

a. Common names

Simple alcohols are often called by their common names which consists of the name of the alkyl group to which the –OH group is attached followed by the word ‘alcohol’.

 

For example,     

         

CH3OH     CH3CH2OH     CH3CHOH

Methyl alcohol     Ethyl alcohol     |

CH3

Isopropyl alcohol

 

b. IUPAC names

In the IUPAC system, alcohols are named as alkanols and their names are derived from the parent alkane by replacing the ‘e’ from the parent hydrocarbon and adding the suffix ‘ol’. For example:

 

CH3CH2OH

CH3CH2CH2OH

Ethanol

Propanol

For a cyclic alcohol, the –ol ending is added to the parent cycloalkane. For example,

OH

|

Cyclohexanol

 

c. Glycols

Dialcohols or diols are called glycols. They are named as derivatives of the parent hydrocarbon with the –diol name ending added. The –OH groups are added as prefixes. For example:

 

OH

|

HOCH2CH2OH

CH3CH2CH2—CH— CH2—CH2OH

1, 2—Ethanediol

1, 3—hexanediol

 

Exercise

Give systematic names for the following compounds

    (i)     CH3CH2CH2CHCH2CH3

| OH

 

 

 

  1. CH3CHCH2OH

    CH3     OH

    |     |

  1. CH3CHCH2 CHCH2CH3



 

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