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# How can ethanol and ethanoic acid be differentiated on the basis of their physical and chemical properties?

Difference between Ethanol and Ethanoic acid

1. Ethanol has the molecular formula C2H5OH, while ethanoic acid has the molecular formula C2H4O2.
2. Ethanol has an ethyl group while ethanoic acid has a methyl group.
3. Ethanoic acid is a carboxylic acid; this is not the case for ethanol.
4. Ethanol has a hydroxyl group while ethanoic acid has a carboxyl group.
5. Ethanol in a pure state is basic, while ethanoic acid is acidic.
6. Ethanoic acid has a boiling point of 118 to 119oC, while ethanol has a boiling point of 78.5
7. Ethanoic acid has a vinegar smell while ethanol has a perfume type of smell.
8. Ethanoic acid can be formed using Acetobacter bacteria during fermentation; this is not the case with ethanol.
9. Ethanol usually is formed using yeasts such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae or Schizosaccharomyces during fermentation; this is not the case with ethanoic acid.
10. Ethanol is used to make alcoholic beverages while ethanoic acid is used to make vinegar.
11. Ethanol is also referred to as ethyl alcohol while ethanoic acid is also referred to as acetic acid.
12. Ethanol does not react with metal carbonates while, ethanoic acid reacts with metal carbonates to form salt, water and carbon dioxide. For example, $$2CH_{3}COOH + Na_{2}CO_{3}$$ $$\downarrow$$ $$2CH_{3}COONa + CO_{2} + H_{2}O$$
13. Ethanol does not react with NaOH while ethanoic acid reacts with NaOH to form sodium ethanoate and water.
Ex :
Ethanol is oxidized to give ethanoic acid in presence of acidified KMnO4 while, no reaction takes place with ethanoic acid in presence of acidified KMnO4.