27.03.2023 - 15:56

The molecular mass of butanol, C4H9OH, is 74.14; that of ethylene glycol, CH2(OH)CH2OH, is 62.08, yet their boiling points are 117.2 degrees Celsius and 174 degrees Celsius, respectively. Explain the reason for the difference.

Question:

The molecular mass of butanol, {eq}C_4H_9OH {/eq}, is 74.14; that of ethylene glycol, {eq}CH_2(OH)CH_2OH {/eq}, is 62.08, yet their boiling points are 117.2 degrees Celsius and 174 degrees Celsius, respectively. Explain the reason for the difference.

Answers (1)
  • Ester
    April 6, 2023 в 23:27
    The boiling point of a substance is directly related to its intermolecular forces, which are the forces that exist between molecules. Butanol and ethylene glycol have different intermolecular forces due to their different molecular structures. Butanol molecules are able to form hydrogen bonds with each other due to the presence of the -OH group. These strong intermolecular forces require a greater amount of energy to break apart, leading to a higher boiling point. In contrast, ethylene glycol molecules have strong dipole-dipole interactions due to their polar nature, but these forces are weaker than hydrogen bonds. As a result, less energy is required to break apart the intermolecular forces in ethylene glycol, leading to a lower boiling point. Thus, the difference in boiling points between butanol and ethylene glycol can be attributed to the difference in their intermolecular forces.
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