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

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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

Note : 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
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