Vinyl Alcohol, Tautomerism, and Earth’s Atmosphere

Chemistry, Meteorology
[caption id="attachment_16229" align="alignright" width="480"] Sea spray salt aerosol[/caption] The simplest alcohols contain only carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen. Whereas water contains a hydrogen atom attached to a hydroxyl group, a simple alcohol consists of a chain of carbon and hydrogen atoms attached to a hydroxyl group. Vinyl alcohol is one of the simplest. In fact, it differs by just two hydrogen atoms from ordinary ethyl alcohol. Ethyl alcohol or ethanol is written, CH₃CH₂–OH. Vinyl alcohol or ethenol is CH₂=CH–OH. Though very similar, ethyl alcohol exhibits very ordinary, straightforward behavior, typical of an alcohol. Ethenol, however, due to its double bond, behaves differently. Tautomerization Vinyl alcohol rearranges slightly under ordinary conditions. It tautomerizes to the more stable species acetaldehyde. This variety of tautomerization is termed keto-enol tautomerism. The keto part refers to…
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