Q. 183.9( 11 Votes )

How would you distinguish experimentally between an alcohol and a carboxylic acid?

Answer :

Alcohols can be distinguished from carboxylic acid using the sodium carbonate (Na2CO3) or sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) test. Alcohols do not react with sodium carbonate or bicarbonate, whereas acid reacts with them to release carbon dioxide.


2RCOOH + Na2CO3 2RCOONa + CO2 + H2O


RCOOH + NaHCO3 RCOONa + CO2 + H2O


Alcohol + Na2CO3 No reaction


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