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Properties of Phenols

Hydrogen bonding is significant in phenols, because of the presence of the hydroxyl group. Phenols can form hydrogen bonds with other phenol molecules and water. Hence the boiling and melting points are relatively high for phenols. Phenols are acidic. In terms of acidity, phenols are in between carboxylic acids and alcohols.


It is important to analyze the fact that the phenoxide ion’s negative charge is stabilized by the delocalization of the electrons into the benzene ring. This is one of the reasons for phenols’ increased acidity compared to alcohols. In alkoxide ions negative charge is localized in the oxygen atom (not delocalized).

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