Explain the properties within and between the homologous series of alcohols with reference to the intermolecular and intramolecular bonding present

  • Alcohols form stronger intramolecular and intermolecular hydrogen bonds which is the reason of their elevated boiling points.
  • The oxygen atom of the strongly polarized O―H bond of an alcohol pulls electron density away from the hydrogen atom. This polarized hydrogen, which bears a partial positive charge, can form a hydrogen bond with a pair of nonbonding electrons on another oxygen atom.
  • Because alcohols possess a hydrophilic ―OH group, they have tendencies to form hydrogen bonds with water which allows them to dissolve in water.
  • Alcohols with higher molecular weights tend to be less water-soluble, because the hydrocarbon part of the molecule, which is hydrophobic (“water-hating”), is larger with increased molecular weight.
  • Because they are strongly polar, alcohols are better solvents than hydrocarbons for ionic compounds and other polar substances.