Alcohol

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Alcohol


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In chemistry, an alcohol (Arabic: ?????? transliterated as al kohoul) is any organic compound in which a hydroxyl group (-OH) is bound to a carbon atom of an alkyl or substituted alkyl group. The general formula for a simple acyclic alcohol is CnH2n+1OH.

Generally, the word alcohol, when used alone, usually refers to ethanol, also known as grain alcohol or (older) spirits of wine. Ethanol is a very strong and unique smelling, colorless, volatile liquid formed by the fermentation of sugars. It also often refers to any beverage that contains ethanol (see alcoholic beverage). It is the most widely used depressant in the world, and has been for thousands of years. This sense underlies the term alcoholism (addiction to alcohol).

Other forms of alcohol are usually described with a clarifying adjective, as in isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol) or wood alcohol (methyl alcohol, or methanol). The suffix -ol appears in the official chemical name of all alcohols.

Alcohol
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