Alcohol / Ethanol

  We are all familiar with ethanol, C2H5OH, the drug that society accepts the use of through drinks. I hope, we are also familiar with the many problems that it brings. Social problems aside, ethanol harms and damages the body as it is a toxic and a poison. The body also breaks it down as follows: C2H5OH is oxidised to CH3CHO (ethanal) which is also oxidised to CH3COOH (ethanoic acid) by an enzyme called 'alcohol dehydrogenase'. The ethanoic acid can be reacted with oxygen ...

What’s in a name?

  Asprin - we are all familiar with this drug but it's chemical name has an interesting history. It used to be called acetylsalicylic acid. Acetyl comes from Acetum, the Latin for acetic acid (which we know as vinegar or ethanoic acid). Salycilic is from salix, Latin for the willow tree. The bark of the willow tree used to be chewed to cure headaches as it was rich in salicylic acid. And the modern name? 2-ethanolyloxybenzenecarboxylic acid!! Much easy to understand but far less interesting! ...