Alcohols are a family of organic compounds that contain the -OH functional group.[1] In systematic chemical nomenclature alcohols end with the suffix -ol.[1][2]

Organic synthesis[]

Alcohols can be formed by the hydration of alkenes.
Alchols can be dehydrated to form esters or ethers.
Alcohols react with acids to form esters.
Primary alcohols can be partially oxidised in potassium dichromate to form aldehydes and completely oxidised to form carboxylic acids.
Secondary alcohols can be oxidised in potassium dichromate to form ketones.

See also[]

The five simple alcohols derived from the first five aliphatic alkenes.

  • Methanol
  • Ethanol
  • Propanol
  • Butanol
  • Pentanol


  1. 1.0 1.1 Alcohol: Oxford Dictionary of Chemistry (6th edition; 2008) OUP
  2. Alcohols Rule C-201 from the IUPAC Nomenclature of Organic Chemistry ("The Blue Book"), an abridged version is accessible here.