Why isn't ethanol written as ethan-1-ol or something similer?

4 Answers

Relevance
  • 6 months ago

    there is only the one possible form. If it looks different, it is because you are looking at it from the wrong side. Flip it over and you will see. It is a symmetry question. You need an asymmetry to have a distinct and unique form. The alcohol group can only be on an end carbon. there is no front or back carbon, so the ends are the same thing.

  • Lôn
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    ethanol is CH3-CH2OH

    The OH can only go in one place.

    With propanol it can go either on the first or the second carbon so propan-1-ol and propan-2-ol are possibilities.

  • Anonymous
    6 months ago

    Ethanol can only exist in one form as the carbon chain is so short.

  • 6 months ago

    Because, with only 2 carbons there is no need to designate which the single hydroxyl group is attached to as it makes no difference - and the IUPAC nomenclature conventions prohibit unnecessary labelling

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