Return to Contents Chapter 15: Alcohols, Diols and Thiols Ch 15 contents

Reactions of Alcohols

Alcohols are one of the most important functional groups in organic chemistry and an appreciation of their reactions is critical to success, particularly in synthesis questions.

Alcohols, R-OH,  are able to undergo several different types of reactions:

Here is a more detailed summary of their specific reactions:
Substitution with HX
substitution with HX
Substitution by SOCl2 etc.
substitution by thionyl chloride
Conversion to Tosylates
(for further substitution)
preparation of tosylates
Conversion to Ethers
ether synthesis
Conversion to Esters
ester synthesis
Acid catalysed Dehydration
elimination of alcohols
Oxidation to Carbonyls
oxidation to carbonyls

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© Dr. Ian Hunt, Department of Chemistry, University of Calgary