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Question

Give the necessary conditions and equations of getting ethanol from:
(a) an alkyl halide
(b) an ethene

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Solution

(a) The hydrolysis of an alkyl halide by a dilute alkali can yield ethanol. The equation is:
C2H5BrEthyl bromide+KOHAqueousC2H5OHEthanol+KBr
(b) Ethene, upon treatment with concentrated sulphuric acid at 80oC and 30 atm pressure, gives ethyl hydrogen sulphate, which reacts with boiling water or steam to give ethanol, while sulphuric acid is recovered:
C2H4Ethene+H2SO4 Conc.80°C80 atm CH3CH2HSO4Ethyl hydrogen sulphateCH3CH2HSO4+H2OBoiling CH3CH2OHEtanol+H2SO4

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