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What characteristics are there of alcohols?

Discussion of all aspects of biological molecules, biochemical processes and laboratory procedures in the field.

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What characteristics are there of alcohols?

Postby leftventricle » Fri Oct 08, 2010 1:45 am

About fats...the macromolecule: Fatty acids are attached to alcohols right? (eg glycerol)

So...what is an alcohol?
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Postby vinayaksabnis » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:39 am

Alcohols are nothing but they are the alkyl group attached to OH group
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Re: What characteristics are there of alcohols?

Postby jonmoulton » Fri Oct 08, 2010 3:05 pm

A free alcohol group (properly called a hydroxyl, -OH) can hydrogen-bond, so the group tends to improve the aqueous solubility of the molecule bearing it. Under some circumstances the hydroxyl can be reactive; a typical reaction of hydroxyl groups is esterification (ester formation).

To form fatty acids, a hydroxyl is combined with a carboxylic acid by dehydration synthesis to form an ester (a fat has three of these ester groups). Hydrolysis of the ester cleaves the fat into a trihydroxyl-bearing glycerol and three fatty acids (each with its terminal carboxylic acid).
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