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Why phenols are soluble in alkalies??

Why phenols are soluble in alkalies??

Grade:upto college level

1 Answers

Akshay Meena
askIITians Faculty 34 Points
7 years ago

Phenols show acidic nature and hence are soluble in alkalies like NaOH, Na2CO3 etc. The acidic nature is due to formation of resonance stabilized phenoxide ion formed by losing a proton from -OH group.

resonance stabilization of phenoxide ion

When alkalies are added to phenol, the above equilibrium is shifted more to the right side as the H+ ions are removed by the OH- ions that are furnished by alkalies. Thus more and more phenol is converted to phenoxide ion that is soluble in water.

Thanks & Regards
Akshay Meena,
askIITians Faculty
M.Tech, IIT Kharagpur

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