Alcohol vs. Hydrocarbon

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Alcohol and Hydrocarbon is that the Alcohol is a any organic compound in which the hydroxyl functional group (–OH) is bound to a saturated carbon atom and Hydrocarbon is a organic compound consisting entirely of hydrogen and carbon.

  • Alcohol

    In chemistry, an alcohol is any organic compound in which the hydroxyl functional group (–OH) is bound to a carbon. The term alcohol originally referred to the primary alcohol ethanol (ethyl alcohol), which is used as a drug and is the main alcohol present in alcoholic beverages. An important class of alcohols, of which methanol and ethanol are the simplest members, includes all compounds for which the general formula is CnH2n+1OH. It is these simple monoalcohols that are the subject of this article.

    The suffix -ol appears in the IUPAC chemical name of all substances where the hydroxyl group is the functional group with the highest priority. When a higher priority group is present in the compound, the prefix hydroxy- is used in its IUPAC name. The suffix -ol in non-IUPAC names (such as paracetamol or cholesterol) also typically indicates that the substance is an alcohol. However, many substances that contain hydroxyl functional groups (particularly sugars, such as glucose and sucrose) have names which include neither the suffix -ol, nor the prefix hydroxy-.

  • Hydrocarbon

    In organic chemistry, a hydrocarbon is an organic compound consisting entirely of hydrogen and carbon. Hydrocarbons are examples of group 14 hydrides. Hydrocarbons, from which, one hydrogen atom has been removed are functional groups called hydrocarbyls. Because carbon has 4 electrons in its outermost shell (and because each covalent bond requires a donation of 1 electron, per atom, to the bond) carbon has exactly four bonds to make, and is only stable if all 4 of these bonds are used.

    Aromatic hydrocarbons (arenes), alkanes, cycloalkanes and alkyne-based compounds are different types of hydrocarbons.

    Most hydrocarbons found on Earth naturally occur in crude oil, where decomposed organic matter provides an abundance of carbon and hydrogen which, when bonded, can catenate to form seemingly limitless chains.

  • Alcohol (noun)

    Any of a class of organic compounds (such as ethanol) containing a hydroxyl functional group (-OH).

  • Alcohol (noun)


  • Alcohol (noun)

    Beverages containing ethanol, collectively.

  • Alcohol (noun)

    Any very fine powder.

  • Hydrocarbon (noun)

    A compound consisting only of carbon and hydrogen atoms.


  • Alcohol (noun)

    a colourless volatile flammable liquid which is produced by the natural fermentation of sugars and is the intoxicating constituent of wine, beer, spirits, and other drinks, and is also used as an industrial solvent and as fuel

    “the use of petrol containing alcohol”

    “it is an offence to drive if you have more than 80 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood”

  • Alcohol (noun)

    drink containing alcohol

    “he has not taken alcohol in twenty-five years”

  • Alcohol (noun)

    any organic compound whose molecule contains one or more hydroxyl groups attached to a carbon atom

    “unpleasant stuff like formaldehyde is produced as alcohols burn”

    “polyvinyl alcohol”

Oxford Dictionary

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