What Is the Chemical Formula for Alcohol?

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The main functional group of alcohols is the hydroxyl group, written as “-OH”. There are many different types of alcohol and molecular formulas vary based on the number of carbon atoms and the placement of the –OH group in the molecule.

Ethanol, also known as ethyl alcohol, is a common alcohol produced by fermentation of sugars such as barley and grapes. Ethanol is found in alcoholic beverages such as beer and wine. The chemical formula for ethanol is CH3CH2OH; this formula can also be written as a condensed structural formula, C2H5OH. The molecular formula for ethanol is C2H6O. Other alcohols include methanol (CH3OH) and propan-1-ol (CH3CH2CH2OH).