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julia999's avatar

How do I know what physical states I should use for different organic compounds?

Asked by julia999 (343points) June 2nd, 2010

Hello there,

There is a week until my exams and I’m trying to sort out this problem, since I’m tired of writing perfectly correct equations but being deducted marks for states.

For example, some alkanes are gases, but really large ones I think are liquids. Is there some rule for this? Can I apply it to alkenes too?

And then there are carboxylic acids (which I think are aqueous) and alkanols such as ethanol (anyone have a clue?)

I would greatly appreciate any help!

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2 Answers

The_Idler's avatar

look in the textbook at the states in which the compounds are labelled in example reactions. They are extremely unlikely to be different in an exam. If they are, it will be a “A* mark” and will happen only once, and you’re not expected to get it anyway.

So yeah, remember them. Once you get a feel for organic chemistry, it will just be mostly intuitive… but then, most people never get a “feel” for organic chemistry hahahah.

julia999's avatar

Alright that’s what I’ve been doing so far. Pity, I was hoping there is a system with which I can know which alkanes are liquids and which ones are gases.

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