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Write any $4$ differences between alcohols and phenols.

Last updated date: 15th Jun 2024
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Hint: Organic compounds may or may not have functional groups attached to them. Alkyl and aryl are two types of functional groups. Alkyl group doesn’t have an aromatic ring whereas an aryl group has an aromatic ring attached to them.

Complete step by step answer:
In this question we have to state some differences between alcohols and phenols. These are stated below:
Basic difference between alcohols and phenols is that, in the phenols hydroxyl group $\left( { - OH} \right)$ is attached directly to aromatic rings while in alcohols hydroxyl group is attached to the carbon atom. Alcohol is a kind of alkyl compound and phenol is an aryl compound.
Alcohols are less acidic as compared to phenols. Because of releasing ${H^ + }$ ion phenoxide ion is formed in phenols which are highly stable due to resonance. Resonance is delocalization of charge this delocalization of charge makes compounds stable.
Alcohols are widely used in making alcoholic beverages whereas phenols are widely used in making antiseptics.
Alcohols usually exist as liquids while phenols exist as crystals.

Additional information: Phenol is acidic in nature because it can lose hydrogen ions from its $OH$ bond, as on losing this hydrogen phenoxide ion is formed which is stable. Though it is a weak acid it is in equilibrium with the phenolate anion ${C_6}{H_5}{O^ - }$ which is also called phenoxide. Phenol is more acidic than aliphatic compounds containing $OH$ group due to resonance stabilization of phenoxide ion by the aromatic ring. In this way negative charge of oxygen atom is delocalized on ortho and para carbon atoms. Due to which stability increases.

Due to delocalization of charge, phenoxide ion is stable in nature. By delocalization we mean charge is not present on only one atom it keeps on moving from one atom to another. Also phenoxide ion is an ambident nucleophile.