Skip to main content

A test to distinguish between ethanol and methanol

Description

In this experiment you will see how methanol and ethanol behave differently when treated with iodine and sodium hydroxide solutions.

Credits

:
This is an experiment from the Practical Chemistry project, developed by the Nuffield Foundation and the Royal Society of Chemistry.
a-test-to-distinguish-bet...



Apparatus Chemicals

Eye protection: goggles

Each group of students will need:

Test-tubes, 2

Liquids or solutions in plastic dropping pipettes (one of each):

Methanol (HIGHLY FLAMMABLE, TOXIC)

Ethanol (HIGHLY FLAMMABLE) or Industrial denatured alcohol, IDA (HIGHLY FLAMMABLE, HARMFUL)

Sodium hydroxide, 1 M (CORROSIVE)

Iodine solution, 0.5 M (dissolved in potassium iodide solution 0.2 M)

Refer to Health & Safety and Technical notes section below for additional information.

 







Page last updated July 2016

In this experiment you will see how methanol and ethanol behave differently when treated with iodine and sodium hydroxide solutions.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

This is a resource from the Practical Chemistry project, developed by the Nuffield Foundation and the Royal Society of Chemistry. This collection of over 200 practical activities demonstrates a wide range of chemical concepts and processes. Each activity contains comprehensive information for teachers and technicians, including full technical notes and step-by-step procedures. Practical Chemistry activities accompany Practical Physics and Practical Biology.