Investigate the structural formulae, properties and functional group

Primary Alcohol

  • Functional Group: ─OH
  • Structural Formula: Primary alcohols have only a single alkyl group attached to the functional group.

Secondary Alcohol

  • Functional Group: ─OH
  • Structural Formula: Two alkyl groups are found attached to the functional ─OH in secondary alcohols.

Tertiary Alcohol

  • Functional Group: ─OH
  • Structural Formula: Tertiary alcohols have more than two alkyl groups attached to the functional ─OH.


  • Generally, have higher boiling points as compared to other hydrocarbons.
  • Hydrogen bond formation between alcohols and water make them capable of being dissolved in water.
  • Alcohols are acidic in nature and can react with metals to form metal alkoxides.
  • Alcohols undergo oxidation reactions and can produce aldehydes and ketones based on the number of alkyl groups present. Generally, primary alcohols when oxidized produce aldehydes whereas, secondary alcohols produce ketones and tertiary alcohols do not undergo oxidation. Upon further oxidation of alcohols, carboxylic acids are found.

Reference image for structure: