Preparation of Alcohols (ii)
from Carboxylic Acids and its Derivatives

Reduction of carboxylic acids

Carboxylic acid with strong reducing agents like LiAlH4 gives alcohols.

Reduction of carboxylic acid yields alcohols

Derivatives of R-COOH

Acid chlorides (R-COCl), Acid anhydrides (RCO)2O, Esters (R-COOR') etc. are derivatives of R-COOH and produce alcohols upon reduction.

Reduction of carboxylic acid derivatives yield alcohols
Acid amide (R-CONH2) is a derivative of carboxylic acid but forms amines (R-NH2) upon reduction.


As said above, esters (RCOOR') upon reduction form alcohols. However, in case of esters, a mixture of two alcohols is obtained (one from RCO- and the other from -OR').

Esters on reduction form two types of alcohols

Preparation of alcohols by hydrolysis of esters

Esters react with aqueous alkalies to produce alcohols.

Hydrolysis of esters form alcohols alongwith by-products
Reduction of carboxylic acid yields alcohols