Between #CH_3OH# and #CH_3CH_2CH_2CH_2OH#, which is more volatile? Which has a greater surface tension? Which has a greater boiling point? Which would be more viscous?

Please tell me why in each answer!

1 Answer
Mar 25, 2017

As the larger molecule, the butanol would be less volatile, but have a greater surface tension, higher boiling point and greater viscosity.


The reason is, as a general rule, dispersion forces (such as van der Waals forces) between molecular compounds such as these tend to be greater for large molecules. Also, stronger intermolecular forces tend to result in lower volatility (molecules do not escape the surface of the liquid as readily), greater surface tension, higher boiling points and greater viscosity.