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Design Challenge: The Alcohol Family

Design Challenge: The Alcohol Family
Two Alcohol Molecules

In this design challenge: the alcohol family we explore the basics of molecules and lewis structures.

This is a quick video on the difference between alcohols.

Acid or Base?

This is where the alcohol family gets really weird. They are both. But isopropyl alcohol is the most curious. (Learn more here)

Iso-propyl means that is a balanced chain of carbon radicals with a radical ion. Isopropyl alcohol is both an acid and a solvent. It can also be used as fuel source and as an anesthetic.

Unlike it’s cousin, ethyl alcohol, drinking isopropyl alcohol is DEADLY as it will cause sever neurological disruption, loss of consciousness, and death. Because it is also a solvent, it will react to chemical reactions and heat as flame. Depending on what it reacts with, it will not dilute in the presence of salts.

Ethyl means that it is an extremely small molecule. Ethyl alcohol has effects similar to isopropyl, but is less dangerous. It still cannot be ingested safely, and must undergo further chemistry to transform it into ethanol.

Ethyl alcohol can still be used as an anesthetic and disinfectant though. The big difference between the two (besides their size) is that isopropyl alcohol is synthesized whereas ethyl alcohol is fermented.

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