Talk:Alcohol (chemistry)

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Discrepancy between two pages[edit]

There appears to be a discrepancy between, at the very least, the chart of alcohols and the actual alcohols themselves. It lists the chemical formula for isopropyl alcohol as C3H7OH, whilst on the isopropyl alcohol page it lists it as C3H8O. Not sure which is right. Or I'm misunderstanding something. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 01:52, 5 December 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

They are equivalent. Each indicates 3 carbons, 8 hydrogens and 1 oxygen. They are just written out a little differently in each case. C3H8O is a better, more standard convention though. ChemNerd (talk) 02:02, 5 December 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
C3H8O could be 1-propanol, 2-propanol, or methyl ethyl ether. C3H7OH removes the third choice. Gah4 (talk) 15:50, 28 December 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Borneol et al[edit]

Borneol - 1,7,7-Trimethyl-bicyclo[2.2.1]heptan-2-ol

Isoborneol - (1R,2R,4R)-1,7,7-trimethylbicyclo[2.2.1]heptan-2-ol

Fenchol - (1R,2R,4S)-1,3,3-trimethylbicyclo[2.2.1]heptan-2-ol aka (1R,2R,4S)-1,3,3-Trimethyl-2-norbornanol

etc. There is many other important natural simple alcohols.

Toxicity Section Misleading[edit]

The statements "With respect to acute toxicity, simple alcohols have low acute toxicities" and "Methanol and ethanol are less acutely toxic" seem to imply that these compounds are relatively safe. While being much less toxic than other compounds, they can still be lethal, particularly at the quantities ethanol is typically consumed in. Similarly, methanol is toxic at several times smaller amounts than ethanol, while the second statement seems to imply otherwise by pairing them together. A statement clarifying that they are less toxic than other compounds, but still dangerous, and that most are toxic at much lower levels than ethanol, would be appropriate to avoid misunderstanding. See below for an article discussing LD50 of methanol and typical amount needed to cause permanent blindness:


Crepuscular Scrawl (talk) 23:37, 25 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hello Crepuscular Scrawl! Does Moon 2017 compare the toxicity of ethanol and methanol? If so, you could propose a new sentence here to replace the current Methanol and ethanol are less acutely toxic, and I will put it in the article. I will also need a page number. Thanks, ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 23:52, 25 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ Moon, CS (2017). "Estimations of the lethal and exposure doses for representative methanol symptoms in humans". Annals of occupational and environmental medicine. 29: 44. doi:10.1186/s40557-017-0197-5. PMID 29026612.

Requested move 28 December 2021[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review after discussing it on the closer's talk page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The result of the move request was: There's no consensus what (if any) the primary topic of "alcohol" is, so the page will be moved off primary and a dab will be placed there. (non-admin closure) (t · c) buidhe 02:54, 5 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

– I think the average reader is going to be looking for Alcohol (drug) or alcoholic drink rather than the chemistry definition. Ivar the Boneful (talk) 03:15, 28 December 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Retarget to Alcoholic drink and Support AlcoholAlcohol (chemistry). If most readers that search for "alcohol" are looking for the article on alcoholic drink, then "alcohol" should redirect there as the WP:PRIMARYREDIRECT. A proper hatnote at that article can direct people to this article and the DAB page. Rreagan007 (talk) 03:37, 28 December 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Retarget From previously "Alcohol (chemistry)" to alcoholic drink per WP:PRIMARYREDIRECT. I think is so possible to redirect this page into the alcohol link and keeping DAB page as currently is. (talk) 09:22, 28 December 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Retarget to alcoholic drink, per above. Randy Kryn (talk) 12:09, 28 December 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I don't believe there is a clear WP:PRIMARYTOPIC here: alcohol (chemistry) and alcoholic drink both have very good claims (though perhaps the former's claim is somewhat stronger), such that neither is much more likely than any other single topic to be the prime reference for 'alcohol'. I therefore support OP's proposal, which actually is the correct solution for when there is no PTOPIC. If there is a PTOPIC though, it is definitely alcohol (chemistry), which means that nothing should be changed. ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 15:32, 28 December 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I suspect that most know that alcohol is a chemical that is also used for drinking. They won't be surprised that the page discusses its chemistry. (On the other hand, it seems that many do not know that water is a chemical.) As long as the See also is easy to find, I don't see any problem. Gah4 (talk) 15:58, 28 December 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Gah4: it's not clear what your opinion is here. We have 4 major articles which people could be looking for when typing in 'alcohol': one on the class of chemical compounds (this one), one on the specific type of alcohol in alcoholic drinks (ethanol), one on the use of ethanol as a drug (alcohol (drug)), and one on the medium through which ethanol as a drug is generally consumed (alcoholic drink). To which one of those should readers be directed when typing in 'alcohol' and hitting enter? Some of the !voters here (the ones saying 'retarget to alcoholic drink') seem to be of the opinion that by far the most likely topic people are looking for is alcoholic drink, and that readers should therefore first be directed to that article. To me, this appears incorrect: I think that people could equally well be looking for alcohol (drug) or for the class of chemical compounds; even if alcoholic drink would be the most likely topic of the 4 (which I doubt), it's not much more likely than the other topics to such an extent as to be the WP:PRIMARYTOPIC. In such cases (when there is no primary topic), the best thing to do is to make alcohol direct to a disambiguation page (currently alcohol (disambiguation)) which lists the various articles related to 'alcohol'. If you think, like Zxcvbnm below, that people are by far most likely looking for the class of chemical compounds and that this is the primary topic, nothing needs to be changed and you should !vote oppose. Thanks! ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 20:02, 28 December 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose: OK, I am for keeping it the way it is. While I suspect more people drink alcoholic drinks than work in chemistry labs, that doesn't mean that they are so interesting in reading about it here. And even if more do look for a page related to drinking it, they might not be all that interested in reading the page. Note also that alcohol is commonly used for household cleaning and (both ethanol and 2-propanol) for medical uses (that is, rubbing alcohol). And note that this page does cover much of the history of alcohol for drinking. Gah4 (talk) 03:52, 29 December 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support, DAB at base page. No clear WP:PRIMARYTOPIC.--Ortizesp (talk) 18:20, 28 December 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose The drink is named after one type of alcohol, so being the base topic where the other meanings originate from, this should definitely be primary.ZXCVBNM (TALK) 19:40, 28 December 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • support dab per pageviews analysis It is not clear that "Alcoholic drink" is the clear primary topic and I oppose moving that to the primary topic. Hemiauchenia (talk) 01:38, 29 December 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • The current primary topic may serve as a broad-concept article on the other hand there are several unrelated uses so a DAB may be better anyway. Crouch, Swale (talk) 10:13, 29 December 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose - a link to Alcoholic drink should be added to the hatnote. I think the rest is fine as-is. Just considering the articles Alcohol and Ethanol, the titles as-is are correct. "Ethanol for human consumption" is a subtopic, and the common name refers to that ethanol as alcohol in a form of metonymy. (I can't speak to the etymology, I am claiming that is what the words mean today.) As far as the hatnote handles that, I think we are good. User:力 (powera, π, ν) 19:29, 29 December 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support retargeting to either dab or drink. Though from the page views Hemiauchenia presented it would seem that the dab is the better choice. Gonnym (talk) 19:42, 29 December 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support dab. In a situation where we have credible arguments that A is primary and also credible arguments that B is primary, a WP:NOPRIMARY outcome is all but inevitable. As another piece of evidence, here is a link to mainspace pages with wikilinks to the basename. It's sorted by random, so if you refresh, you'll get a new random set. A very high proportion (maybe around 10-20%) of these wikilinks are mistargeted, which is a strong indicator that the current primary topic setup is not working. Making the basename a dab will force editors to make a conscious decision about whether they're referring to the class of chemical compounds, or ethanol specifically, or ethanol as a drug, or alcoholic drinks, or something else. Colin M (talk) 20:36, 29 December 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


You can probably remove semi-protection from this page, now that it's no longer the redirect when you search for "Alcohol". MichaelBijanAfghani (talk) 03:43, 6 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Requested at Wikipedia:Requests for page protection. ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 04:07, 6 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
 Done: 3 months of pending changes will show if this page really still needs protection. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 07:14, 6 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]